Last week’s post about Vincent Price reminded me of the film that really established him as a movie actor, the classic film noir Laurain which he played the parasitic boyfriend of the eponymous heroine. If you’ve never seen the film, you should because in my opinion it hasn’t dated at all even though it was made in 1944. A song with the same name written for the film in 1945 (after the filming was completed) became a popular hit at the time as well as a favourite for jazz musicians, spawning numerous cover versions including one by the great Charlie Parker. Those of you who associate Bird with jagged bebop tunes played at a frenetic pace might be surprised to hear his take on this romantic ballad, particularly as it involves him playing with strings. The Charlie Parker with Strings session recorded in 1950 received mixed reviews from the critics, primarily because many of the arrangements are a bit bland, but while  I don’t like all these tracks, I do think Parker’s version of  Laura is a gem in which he  reveals a sensitive side to his music-making that isn’t often appreciated.

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