1945 Oct. 31 — Born in Los Angeles. Father was a trumpeter & singer, worked with Kay Kyser, Horace Heidt, Lawrence Welk
1955 — DP began as a trumpet player in the 5th grade. Listens to parent’s record collection and the pop music of the day on the radio
1960 — Spring — 9th grade @ Notre Dame High School — makes his first album SPRING BAND FESTIVAL as a member of the trumpet section of the school marching band
1960 — buys his first jazz record CANNONBALL ADDERLEY QUINTET PLUS — greatly changes listening and playing habits from dixieland and pop to the instrumental small jazz groups of Miles and Coltrane
1963 — graduates high school — attends Loyola of Los Angeles as a Math Major while still playing Miles-style trumpet
1965 — age 19 — moved out of parents house — changed college to: Valley State College, Northridge, California (aka San Fernando Valley State College) — became music major — dental problems ended trumpet player — decided to depend upon hands to play music — consider’d drums or acoustic bass — picked bass to stay with the notes — played along with jazz radio shows before I even knew the notes on the bass — studied classical method with the German bow with Nat Gangursky — practiced on the bass six to eight hours a day — working with piano trio in beer bars of bowling alleys six nights a week playing “The In Crowd” — pay was dinner plus $20/night
1965 — Fall — Began studies on double bass with Nat Gangursky in Los Angeles — “He was my first teacher, he taught German bow, I stayed with him quite some time, he was a real father figure to me. At the time he thought I was too skinny so he scheduled my lessons around lunchtime so his wife could make us these wonderful sandwiches — I practiced all the time those years — Mingus had also studied with him, after Rheinshagen passed away” —- THEN concurrently, around 1967 or 1968 David began studies in jazz bass with Monty Budwig, “Monty was with Shelly at the time, and his style of teaching was to pick out a tune and we’d go over it, he’s ask what I’d do with the changes, the lead tones, and he’s stress that I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel every chorus, that it was alright to repeat myself as long as my time was good I’d get called back — I use his style of teaching with my own students — I was with Monty at least a year” — he acquired a 100-year-old Italian bass from Monty, “Best bass I ever owned”. (This is the second bass DP ever owned.)
1965 – 1968 — Valley State College, Northridge, CA (aka San Fernando Valley State College)
1965 – 1967 — Played in Stan Kenton’s Junior Neophonic Orchestra — Plays many jam sessions, meets L.A. musicians
1967 — Drafted into U.S. Army “I remember Norman Mailer had just pissed on the Pentagon steps, something like that, [see novel ARMIES OF THE NIGHT] when I got my draft notice” —- [The March on the Pentagon, protesting Vietnam War was October 21, 1967] —– David was at Ft. Ord during this time — discharged “just shy of 6 months” in March 1968
1967 — First professional job — with Don Ellis Orchestra — played Monterey Jazz Fest 1967, 1968 and Newport Jazz Fest, 1968 Recorded two (?) albums LIVE IN 3 2/3 (over) 4 TIME Live at Shelly’s Manne Hole, March 27, 1967(Pacific Jazz)(DP only on half of the album) and ELECTRIC BATH, 1967 [Note: DP not on album LIVE AT MONTEREY which was 1966 just before he joined] *European tour w/Don Ellis, summer 1969
1968 — February 14-15 recorded Don Ellis album SHOCK TREATMENT (Columbia Records)
1968 Spring — Worked as a sub 5 shows one weekend w/Buddy Rich Big Band (Don Menza in the group) when “West Side Story” was in the repertoire — was asked to join formally, turned it down — on the first gig, DP standing next to Buddy’s drum kit, Buddy said to him, “Don’t keep it a secret, kid.” (translation: play loud)
1968 – 1970 — w/ Paul Horn — recorded two albums THE CONCERT ENSEMBLE (Ovation Records)(Fred Katz wrote a pc. for this album and Joyce Collins played piano) and A SPECIAL EDITION (1970)(Island Records)(originally released as a double-Lp)
1968 – 1990 — As a freelance musician in Los Angeles worked with Barbra Streisand, Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, Helen Reddy, Burt Bacharach, Andy Williams, Peter Allen, Jerry Lee Lewis, Glen Campbell, Lisa Minelli, Paul Williams
1968 — recorded with vocal group The Sound of Feeling for their second album SPLEEN — singers Alyce Andrece, Rhae Andrece, and Gary David. This ensemble always used two basses and their principle bassist Ray Neapolitan recommend DP. Also on the session was Fred Katz, cello; Paul Beaver, moog synthesizer; Emil Richards, microtonal vibes & perc; Maurice Miller, drums; Joe Roccisano, saxes & flutes; Gayle Levant, harp. Produced by Leonard Feather.
1969 — (most probable date) — David worked with Mose Allison at Shelly’s Manne Hole
1969 — w/ Frank Strazzeri — also recorded the album THAT’S HIM & THIS IS NEW with trio (March 1) and sextet (March 29) at Herrick Chapel, Occidental College, Los Angeles, with John Tirabasso, Gary Barone, Sam Most, Sal Nistico — released on Revelation Records
1969 – 1972 — w/Warne Marsh Quartet w/Gary Foster, John Tirabasso, Dave Koonse Sept 14 and Oct 25, 1969 recorded album NE PLUS ULTRA (Revelation Records) @ Herrick Chapel Lounge, Occidental College May 27, 1972 Recorded @ Ice House (unreleased Revelation Records)
1969 – 1971 — w/ Gil Melle — recorded WATERBIRDS (Nocturne Records)
1970 — Married artist Judy Frisk (mother of DP’s two daughters) and they lived in Carpenteria for first half of 1970, then moved further north to Vancouver Island when Paul Horn needed DP for various projects and lived there 6 months
1970 — either just before marriage or right after he and Judy did a month-long Maharishi retreat in Humbolt County — he thinks it might have been in the fall — was Maharishi there?
1970 November 22 — Warne Marsh Quartet — 2 sets @ Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California w/ Gary Foster, David, John Tirabasso
1971 January — Moved back to L.A. and rented a house in Santa Monica — “that January I had a jam session at my house every day and that resulted in a lot of work — it was the beginning of an incredibly active ten years”
1970 – 1972 — w/ Tim Weisberg — recorded on A&M — played Monterey Jazz Festival
1972 — Moved his family to Studio City — bought a house and lived there 4 years
1972 – 1974 — w/ John Klemmer — recorded on Impulse early 70s Worked at the Roxy on Sunset Blvd (w/Susan Sarandon) in the Rocky Horror Show
1972 — w/ Frank Zappa — touring/recording through the 70s
1973 — w/ (one of the earliest world fusion groups) Ashish Khan-Alla Rakha-Emil Richards- Don Preston *recorded with Don Preston’s Ogo Moto (see DP cd RETROSPECTIVE)
1974 – 1975 — w/ Gabor Szabo “tons of gigs with Gabor Szabo — Donte’s, the Lighthouse, the Manne Hole, the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco for two nights — mostly a quartet — I was on electric bass at that time, and composing more than half of the material for this band — When we took this material into the studio — Bob James, producing — he decided he didn’t like the material, and cancelled all the rest of the sessions and brought in his own people….” ( DP put a union suit on Gabor to be paid for the cancelled sessions and won.) mid-70s — Appears on one Martin Mull album (Hal Blaine on these sessions) — and in a tv HBO special w/the comedian/parodist/satiric actor/guitarist [ was DP in Martin’s working band The Furniture ?]
1976 — Moved his family (Judy & the daughters & dogs) to the Valley Vista house in Van Nuys in the hills, very exclusive neighborhood, within walking distance of Carmelo’s jazz club
1976 December — The Lawrence Welk Show “The Italian Special — spotlighting Italian members of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra” — DP’s father Charlie was a long-time member (28 years?) and he brought his two sons onto the Italian Special to play “Big Noise From Winnetka”(Bob Haggart)(BH & Ray Bauduc of the Bobcats did it first in 1938) in a trio — Charlie, trumpet; Chris Parlato, drums; DP, bass.
1976 – 1979? — Worked with Shelly Manne at the Manne Hole — same band with Paul Horn — replaced by John Heard when John came to town with Jean-Luc Ponty from San Francisco — started playing electric bass after Manne Hole gig Bud Shank at Donte’s with Larry Bunker on drums Don Menza big band/small groups around the time of Carmelo’s jazz club Bobby Shew at Pasquale’s in Malibu Beach *infamous Bob Dylan audition
1978 — Records the album SURFIN’ PACIFIC in Hollywood with Tony Rizzi & His Five Guitars Plus Four (for the purposes of this LP the ensemble was called: Tony Rizzi & Pacific! )
1978 — November 2 — David worked often for Burt Bacharach — on this date he was flown to Houston, Texas, and worked a 4-hour session at Jones Hall, Houston, with the Houston Symphony Orchestra + Grady Tate, Bobby Shew, Richard Greene, Mayuto Correa, Robben Ford, Libby Titus(singer), among many others (singers Carly Simon and Sally Stevens were overdubbed at a later session) — released on Burt’s album WOMAN (A&M Records)
1979 — March 9 — LP album NEAR PERFECT/PERFECT (Electra 6E-200) Martin Mull recorded live in the B Room at Filmways/Heider Studios, Hollywood, with in-studio audience — Martin Mull, guitar & comedy; David Parlato, bass; Bones Howe, tambourine & engineering; Michael Melvoin, arrangements & conducting & pianos; Gary Coleman, marimbas, vibes, tympani; Ed Wise, elec-piano; Hal Blaine, drumset; Paulinho daCosta, congas & percussion; Peter Frampton, lead guitar on one track; Tim May, guitars; Ron Hicklin, Edie Lehmann Eichhorn, Debbie Hall, Gene Morford, guitars
1979 — Record w/ Jerry Lee Lewis in Hollywood (two sessions — ten tracks have been released) produced by Bones Howe — band includes: James Burton, guitar; Kenny Lovelace, violin & guitar; Hal Blaine, drums; Tim May, guitar; DP, elec. bass; The Ron Hicklin Singers; Strings arranged & conducted by Bob Alcivar
1980s — television steady gig on John Davidson Show — also, a show called Fridays
1981 — LP album BLOSSOM (Crusaders-MCA Records CRP-5784) Subramaniam — South-Indian violinist — David is on three tracks in quintet on “Time is Right” (4:38) w/ Herbie Hancock, keyboards; Larry Coryell, guitar; L. Subramaniam, violin; Stu Goldberg, synthesizer; Emil Richards, percussion; David Parlato, bass; quartet on “Inner Peace” (7:17) w/ Herbie Hancock, keyboards; Thom Rotella, guitar; L. Subramaniam, violin; and in quintet on”Dancing Dolls” (4:57) same as previous add Ralph Humphrey, drums — recorded in Culver City (or Venice, CA) in the Los Angeles area
1982 — Recorded with L.Subramaniam — two tracks released in 1983 on the violinist’s Lp SPANISH WAVE (Milestone) * DP remembers Herbie Hancock being on one of these recording sessions for this album, and he played with him — band included: Tom Scott, sop. sax & flute; Larry Coryell, guitar; Alla Rakha, tabla; Emil Richards, vibes; Ralph Humphrey, drums; DP, elec. bass
1983 — LP album SPANISH WAVE (Milestone M-9114) L. Subramaniam — David plays bass on two tracks on this album — in septet on “Ninth House” (5:27) w/ L. Subramaniam, violin; Tom Scott, soprano sax; Larry Coryell, guitar; Ralph Humphrey, drumset; Alla Rakha, tabla; Emil Richards, percussion. And on “Seventh Heaven” (4:23) in octet same as previous, add Guruvayoor Dorai, mridangam & solkattu and Tom Scott on flute —- Los Angeles
1990 — moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico early 1990s — Oasis trio with Jerry Jensen & Michael Anthony. Mirage trio with Ricky Malachi & Bert Dalton
1993 — July — David is on a gig with Santa Fe pianist Sharon Shaheen at La Posada, in the lounge of this downtown Albuquerque hotel, when Christian McBride and Billy Higgins drop in, who were in town with the Pat Metheny group, and Billy sat in on one tune playing the standard “I Should Care.” And at the break Christian McBride wanted to know about David’s picking technique on the electric bass guitar (David uses a hard pick held lightly and then EQs the attack out)
1993 October 4 — Jazz Chamber Ensemble @ Outpost — (quartet without chords) DP, John Trentacosta, Jerry Jensen, Arlen Asher
1994 Fall — Conceived idea of Outpost Repertory Jazz Orchestra First public performance @ Outpost Performance Space, April 30, 1995 Live over KUNM radio ORJO went through six “Phases” lasting till August 25, 1997 (David’s going away party — moved to NYC)
1996 October 10-18 — records the cd THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS in duet with pianst Sid Fedley in Albuquerque
1996 – 2005 — Many & various projects with poet Mark Weber — concerts and recordings for Zerx Records
1996 August 15 — appears on Roy Durfee’s KUNM noon jazz radio show w/ his daughter Gretchen and they perform “Confirmation,” “Cherokee,” and a poem “Black Cat” w/Mark Weber (Gretchen doing cat meows) (Subsequent appearances w/Gretchen on KUNM w/Mark Weber as dj — 10july97 and 2apr98 and another time on Ear To The Ground, Sunday Live show)
1997 January 11 — ORJO backs Clark Terry at Albuquerque Little Theatre mid-to-late 1990s — *performs with Nick Brignola @ Outpost — John Trentacosta on the gig *performs with Frank Morgan around New Mexico *books Friday night gigs with quartet at micro brewery on Central Avenue downtown Albuquerque for 6 months *performs with Mose Allison (w/Pete Amahl) in Albuquerque
1998 Sept 20 — performed with guitarist Joshua Breakstone @ Anasazi Fields Winery, Placitas NM. Also backed Chris Calloway that day.
1998 December 21 — Phase VII ORJO under direction of David who has returned to Albuquerque
1998 — In cooperation with Outpost Productions initiates on-going Summer Monday Jazz Nights
1999 — March 29 & 30 — Performs on bass with Gretchen Parlato Quintet at Outpost Performance Space, 112 Morningside Drive SE, Albuquerque — Gretchen, at this point has visited her father in Albuquerque a few times previously, and has sung at Outpost during those visits. This band, she brought Marcel Camargo (guitar) from Los Angeles. And David, acting as music director (I believe) rounded up local heavyweights Rudolfo Gonzales (flute) and Arnaldo Acosta (drums). A good recording exists. Some that they played (not exactly in this order): 1) All of You 2) When Lights are Low 3) Soft and Furry 4) I Mean You 5) Donna Lee (scat) 6) A Flor E O Espinho (and 2 or 3 others in Portuguese) 7) Otra Vez 8) Well You Needn’t 9) All the Things You Are 10) In Love in Vain 10) Friendlee (Lee Konitz line on Just Friends)(scat). Her sister Heather was in the audience, visiting from L.A., and I believe Judy, also, their mother.
1999 – 2007 — Member of guitarist Michael Anthony’s Natural Instincts Trio (w/Andy Poling, drums) making four cdS: ACOUSTIC MOODS, 1999; NATURAL INSTINCTS, 2000; NEW JOURNEY, 2004; and NOSTALGIA, 2007 [ Did this group form before 1999?]
2001 June 11 — performs his “Psalms” w/ octet @ Outpost Performance Space
2001 June 15, 16, 18, 19 — employs Mark Weber to paint exterior of his house @ 2729 Monroe NE, Albuquerque USA
2002 July 8 — performs with bass trio BassWorks @ Outpost (w/ Bob Daugherty, Chris Threlkeld)
2002 April 22 — performed @ Outpost w/ Lee Konitz Trio (w/John Trentacosta, drums). Only the second set was recorded as per Lee’s direction, which he later regretted not having both sets recorded
2002 July 25 & 26 — records cd NO NEED FOR WORDS w/Straight Up
2002 late November — records double-cd WHEREVER YOU ARE in duet w/ pianst Peter Cover. This record won the coveted Mark Weber Award for Greatest Recorded Sound Onto a Compact Disk. Engineered by Manny Rettinger @ Ubik Sound, Albuquerque
2003? — plays with Steve Allen in Albuquerque — w/Andy Poling and Steve’s pianist from L.A.: Paul Smith ( ! )
2003— July 3 — performs with Kenny Davern Quartet (New Mexico version) w/ Andy Poling, drums; Michael Anthony, guitar.
2005 May 13 — married Lisa Flynn,a graphics artist. Moved to Santa Fe.
2005 June 23 & 24 — record CD w/ Glenn Kostur Trio (w/John Bartlit on drums)
2007 July 19 — performs with Bobby Shew-Gary Foster Quintet (Stu MacAskie, John Bartlit) Outpost Performance Space
2007 October 12 — performed with John Trentacosta’s quintet Straight Up @ Eldorado Hotel, SF (w/Paul Gonzales, Arlen Asher, Brian Bennett )
2007 November 15 — final public performance — with Michael Anthony Natural Instincts Trio w/Andy Poling @ Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque ( His last note was an F ) He formally retired from public performance.
2009 November — Ends a 12-year stint as jazz educator for the Outpost Performance Space
2010 January 21; February 18; April 1 — The Third Eye Jazz Radio Show, KUNM Albuquerque, guest on Mark Weber’s radio show to discuss his musical life
2010 May 14 & 15 — Santa Fe Community College Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr Priscilla Zimmermann performs his music “Come Away, Come Away, Death” (text by William Shakespeare) — he is a singer in this 14-member ensemble
2010 June 10 — three Albuquerque jazz bassists, Triple Play, perform his music, “Triple Play” specifically written for them and this broadcast — produced by Mark Weber, KUNM Thursday jazz radio show
2010 – 2012 ———- from around March 2010 through 2012 much of these years taken up with the study of self-hypnosis.
2013 August 1 — moved back to Southern California — found a rental beach cottage in Oxnard near his mother in Ventura so he can assist in caregiving. Lisa and he divorced earlier in the year and they sold their house in Santa Fe. We connected at the Bobby Bradford Mo’tet concert at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, August 9, where he told me: “I feel like I’ve come home.” He and Don Preston re-connected at that concert (Don is pianist in the Mo’tet) — they had a band together in the early 1970s called Ogo Moto.
2013 September — David joins house band at Center For Spiritual Living, Ventura, California, near where he lives — a trio: piano, drums, woodwinds, when he notices they do not have a bass player — playing on Sundays on electric bass (he has not returned to string bass at this time) making it a quartet
2013 September 25 — David attends Gretchen’s concert at the Blue Whale, Los Angeles, where she performs with the trio Tillery (Rebecca Martin, Gretchen Parlato, Becca Stevens) ———– the following evening (September 26) Gretchen convene’s her tour at the Outpost Performance Space with her quartet (Alan Hampton, bass/voice/guitar; Taylor Eigsti, piano & keyboard; Mark Guiliana, drums) in Albuquerque
2013 November 5, 12, 19 — David performs as a member of Michael Vlatkovich Quartet, Tuesday evenings at El Cid on Sunset (John Hernandez, drums; MPV, trombone; DP, electric bass; Tom McNalley, guitar) —– Tom had asked Michael to play the first sets on these Tuesdays, opening for the Tom McNalley Trio. El Cid is out west on Sunset Boulevard in the Silver Lake arrondissement, 4212 W. Sunset. I asked Michael what they played: “A mix of my music, some very new and one very old.” Gretchen’s sister, the graphics artist, Heather attended the first Tuesday. Heather is the director of Parlato Design Studio in Los Angeles. El Cid is old Hollywood mystique — D.W. Griffith built this 16th century Spanish tavern in 1900 as a sound stage and screening studio — stage plays and flamenco have been presented here for years — Marlon Brando hung out at El Cid in the early 60s.
2013 December 8 — Don Preston calls David to ask if available to join the Grande Mothers, the international touring band that plays Frank Zappa music — David accepts — publicity photos were taken of the current quintet “last Saturday [Dec. 14] and afterwards I went over to Don’s to run through some of Frank’s music,” they played duo until Bunk Gardner dropped by for trios — Bunk is back in the band after a hiatus ( ! ) — the quintet is Dave, Don, Bunk, Chris Garcia, drums, and Mad Max Kutner, guitar — see the Grande Mothers website for touring dates, they hit Europe in March and Australia in April 2014
2014 — February 27
— David became a grandfather — Here’s email from the road:
I have been meaning to let you know that I am blogging at davidparlato.com. Check it out. Lots of fotos. Having a great time. Enjoying playing for audiences that want to hear us play.
Gretchen and Mark had their baby, Marley (as in Bob) on Feb 27th. Everyone is well and I will be visiting with them for about two weeks starting this Wed. I’ll be staying at my bro’s place in the East Village. Then off to Australia April 9th thru 20th. Then back to L.A.
I’m running as fast as I can. Just need to get more sleep.
[ Email from DP 3/23/2o14 on tour ] [The father is drummer Mark Guiliana]
2014 — March — on tour with the GrandMothers of Invention — European leg of “The Freak Out / Early Zappa Years” Tour
- March 13 — Aachen, Germany
- March 14 — Haarlem, Netherlands
- March 15 — Rotterdam, Netherlands
- March 16 — Tilberg, Netherlands
- March 17 — Dortmund, Germany
- March 18 — Erfurt, Germany
- March 20 — Untertrubach, Germany
- March 21 — Munchen, Germany
- March 23 — Roma, Italy
- March 25 — Milano, Italy
The GrandMothers of Invention are: BUNK GARDNER (with the Mothers of Invention from 1966-1969) on tenor sax, EWI, flute, straight man, commentary / DON PRESTON (with the Mothers from 1966-1974) on piano, keyboard synthesizers, electronics, gongage, magic, and vocals / DAVID PARLATO (with the Mothers of Invention-Hot Rats-Grand Qazoo-Petit Wazoo from 1972 thru 1976) on electric bass. Also featuring CHRISTOPHER GARCIA (the only drummer/percussionist,vocalist to hold the drum chair since 2003 for the GMoI) – drums, percussion, marimba, and vocals, and “Mad” MAX KUTNER – electric guitar, what-nots, pedals, hats and hair.
2014 — April
— The “Freak Out Down Under” Australian leg of GrandMothers tour:
- April 11 — Melbourne VIC @ Corner Hotel
- April 12 — Sydney NSW @ The Metro
- April 17, 18, 19 — Byron Bay NSW @ Bluesfest
2014 — June 25
— Grandmothers of Invention at Catalina’s Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, California USA
- June 27 —-Mystic Theater, Petaluma, California
- June 28 —-Yoshi’s, Oakland, California
- July 11 ——Clamrock Festival, Linz, Austria
(Johnny Vatos subbed for Chris Garcia on this date and July 12)
- July 12 ——Lovely Days Festival, Wiesen, Austria
- July 16 ——Lovely Days Festival, Kufstein, Germany
(David fell ill with pancreatitis the day before this gig and was in hospital seventeen days in Kufstein, on water treatment —- so, on the July 16 the Grandmothers played as a quartet, but on the following date (July 20) the guitarist, Eric Klerks, with the Captain Beefheart Magic Band, who were sharing the bill with the Grandmothers, filled in on electric bass for David.)(David’s brother Dennis flew out to fetch him — he checked out of the hospital in Kufstein on July 31 and returned to the States where he is recuperating at his sister Paula’s home in Thousand Oaks.)
- July 20 —–Zappanale Festival, Bad Doberran, Germany
Michael Anthony and David Parlato | 30 May 2001 | Photo by Mark Weber
2016 — June 11 — UPDATE —- Telephone conversation to catch up. David is now 70 and still living in Ventura, California, on the coast —- as of August 1 it will be 3 years since he left New Mexico to return to Southern California. He needed to assist his sister in care-giving to his mother who has since passed (Alzheimer’s–died August 1, 2o15).
He takes long bike rides and practices yoga & meditation, is active in AA, and acquired a 6-foot grand piano from his sponsor in November 2o15, a late-20s Kurtzmann, “I’m so pianistic these days, I’m really into it,” and has been composing on the piano as well. He rejoined the VCSL band after recovery from illness in Europe on tour with the Grande Mothers — plays electric bass every Sunday: Center for Spiritual Living, Ventura, (“I play at the CSL church most Sundays but not all.”) with Jon Crosse (woodwinds — Longtime music director for Paul Anka, since 1993); Drum chair is Rex Harte (son of Roy Harte, of Drum City, Hollywood, renown); and Chris Kimbler, piano (see VCSL website).
During his short tenure with the Grande Mothers he still played in the VCSL when he was in town and available. “The first Sunday I visited CSL church was the very Sunday after we hung out with Don Preston at the Bradford gig at LACMA (Friday August 9, 2o13). I began performing there in mid-October 2o13” David had located the Center for Spiritual Living via their website before leaving New Mexico and noticed they didn’t have a bass player, “I looked at that and realized: I’m going to play in that band.” He has a gig coming up September 24 playing for Paul Anka’s wedding. This reminded him of another Hollywood job “Long time ago, back in the 80s, playing the wedding of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. My daughters were excited because they were fans of that TV show Moonlighting (1985-1989).” His most recent gig: “Was last Saturday (June 4, 2o16) with Don Rader (!) in Echo Park, at the Edendale Public Library on Alvarado & Sunset, guitar, bass, drums, backing up Don on trumpet. I made $150 for one hour of work.” He said Don’s playing is very meaningful and deep, as always, one of the greats of Los Angeles. David “Don knows me as Dave, from the old days,” had given Don his card when we were all at the memorial for Med Flory at Local 47 (May 31, 2o14). “Said he pinned it to his bulletin board over his phone, and noticed it when he was thinking about a band for this gig, so he called.” David said he just finished reading the biography of Willem DeKooning, “Definitely worthwhile.” When I told him I’m just back from Stockholm he asked if I ever read those novels The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (I have not), he said they are good.
I asked David about his instrument: “The electric bass is a special order neck fender jazz bass bought new in 1973. I replaced stock stuff with Yamaha tuning pegs, a bad-ass bridge, a brass nut and EMG pickups. I still use root sound strings. I primarily play it with a pick like Steve Swallow and Carol Kaye. It’s definitely a four string old school approach compared to all the technical advances over the last forty-five years. Bottom line: I’m very comfortable playing it in any situation or style.” [email DP > MW 14june2o16]
2o18 — February 19-26 — David visits New Mexico after 4 1/2 year hiatus —- Drives out from L.A. on Monday (snow storms in Gallup and wind) stays with Michael & Kathie Anthony in Albuquerque —- Recording session Tuesday @ Noon at Studio 725: 5 duets with Michael Anthony (Gibson custom Howard Roberts guitar), David on his early 70s Fender P-bass w/special hybrid neck, to be broadcast on my Thursday KUNM radio show: 1) Out of Nowhere 2) Footprints as a samba 3) Bessie’s Blues 4) Saudades de Elis (Toguinho) 5) Birk’s Works (Dizzy’s version) to promote their gig Saturday in Santa Fe at Museum Hill Cafe in trio with drummer John Trentacosta —- David and Michael met in Los Angeles “early 70s or late 60s on the Andy Williams Show” —- David lives in the little beach town of Ventura, his house narrowly escaped recent apocalyptic windstorm fires in California, just by a hair’s breath —- He still has his church gig, sometimes subs in Paul Anka’s band ———OTHER NOTES: He toured New Mexico circa 1994 w/ Herb Ellis on a double-bill with Mose Allison (produced by Bumblebee Bob) —- I asked if he had ever played the Pilgrimage Theater (now the John Anson Ford) w/ Paul Horn? and he couldn’t remember for sure but he does remember playing there with Anthony Ortega & his wife Mona (pianist); and also played there with Gil Melle
2o19 —- Feb 12 – 17 —– David returns to New Mexico via train for a trio gig called Reunion Two, as he was here last year with the same trio —- Name of band is: Reunion Trio — Michael Anthony(guitar), David(elec-bass), John Trentacosta(drumset) —– gig in Santa Fe At Museum Hill Café on Saturday the 16th ———— * Woody & Boomer record duets at Studio 725 on the 13th — six tunes recorded by MW to play on radio show: 1) “Bye Bye Blackbird” (5:00) 2. “The More I See You” (Harry Warren – Mack Gordon, 1945) bossa in Bb (5:00) 3. “It Don’t Mean a Thing” (5:40) 4. “All Blues” (4:30) 5. “Take the A Train”(Strayhorn) samba (4:50) 6. “Billie’s Bounce / Blues-by-Five” (Bird, 1945 12-bar-blues in F // Red Garland for Miles, 1956)(5:15) 7. and a short 8-minute interview ——– same as last year’s session Michael played his Howard Roberts and David on the Fender P-bass ———- He returned on Amtrak, same way he came, landing at Union Station, “arrived 8am Monday morning in Los Angeles”
November 2021 —
Much has changed in the 20 months since the world-wide Covid-19 coronavirus has halted the human population of the planet in its tracks —- USA has been in a mandated safety Lockdown since March 2020 —- Over 5 million people taken in death world-wide ——– On top of that the country was turned inside out by one of the strangest Presidencies we hope never to see again, having voted the asshole out of the White House in Nov. 2020 he refused to concede that he wasn’t the winner and incited his thugs to storm the Senate Capitol on January 6, 2021 ——– The worst days in 20th/21st century America’s history are three: 1) November 22, 1963 2) 9/11 3) November 8, 2016, the day the Electoral College did a very bad thing and presented Asshole with the keys to the White House —- Those were four long years of disbelief —————————–
David sat out the Lockdown in the quiet beachtown of Ventura, California, playing piano daily, practicing yoga, meditation, prayer, studying, taking bike rides —- He recently sold the baby grand (the reason I’ll explain at end of this citation), had bought it in 2016 —- I’ve always known David to keep a piano, but leaving New Mexico in 2013 he sold —- I asked what this piano was about, composing, practice, research? He said, “All of that, and for pleasure, I’d play 2-3 hours at a sitting, just exploring, I would go for sounds: what would this sound suggest? Where would it go and what would follow? It was composing, improvising, ear training, all that —- I’ve been in and out of piano all my life” ———————–
SO, the Sunday church gig at Center for Spiritual Living in Ventura came to a halt in mid-March 2020 —- Later, in April 2021 started tentatively back up, but the quartet having changed by half in the meantime, now performing as a duo with guest singers each Sunday, retaining pianist Chris Kimbler; the drummer Rex Harte is sitting it out in Lompoc for now; and woodwinds maestro Jon Crosse has become a grandfather and moved to Boulder, Colorado, to be near daughter and grandchild —— [Sidebar: David’s father trumpeter Charlie and Rex’s father, drummer Roy Harte, both played in the 5-piece ensemble on the Tennessee Ernie Ford TV Show in the 50s] The other musical outlet pre-pandemic for David was playing jam sessions at Jon’s with the church band, where Rex also played guitar and piano “very good” ——–
In the three years before pandemic David worked part-time (15-20/hours/week) at his friend Rob’s guitar store GUITAR 48, in Ventura —- Rob taught him how to repair and re-string and do set-ups for guitar and David was pleased to find out that he was good at it! I asked if he still keeps an upright bass? No? I thought maybe you’d stash it in the closet? “I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night with a string bass in the closet! I had to get it out there and with somebody playing it. It’s the Karma of Instruments: You’ve got to play, and if you’re not, you absolutely must move it on to someone who’s going to play it” He sold his last string bass before leaving Albuquerque in 2013 —- “My voice now is on the electric bass” —- I asked what amp he uses? “It’s named after you! called the Mark Bass w/ a compact head, I’ve had it quite a long time, I used it on the Grandemothers gigs” Says he’s not one to jump around trying out different gear, like his friend Joel DeBartolo (Johnny Carson Tonight Show) who likes to try out different gear and strings [Sidebar: His other friend from college years at San Fernando Valley State College (now known as CSU Northridge) was Leeland Lee Sklar, the guy with the long long beard you see in James Taylor’s band for years] “I didn’t get into electric bass until after that year, not quite a year, actually, that I played with Shelly Manne (his stint with Shelly’s quintet over-lapped with his time with Paul Horn and Paul started getting a lot of gigs so, regrettably had to leave Shelly) —- But that year he played with Shelly they were at the Manne Hole always on a double-bill with alternating bands from out of state, he remembers: Tony Williams Lifetime w/John McLaughlin, Larry Young, and the bass player might have been Jack Bruce, “They played SO LOUD we had to go stand out front!” ; also, Archie Shepp for a week; and one he really dug was Gary Burton’s band with Steve Swallow who played both electric & acoustic, “and on electric he used a pick, same as Carol Kaye! That’s where I got the idea!” (David plays his P-bass with a pick, for the most part) The band with Shelly included, Mike Wofford or Roger Kellaway, piano; John Gross, tenor; and Gary Barone, trumpet [Sidebar: David was on a gig in San Francisco with Gap Mangione band, playing electric bass, and “Lo & behold, Carol Kaye was in the audience! I’m glad I didn’t know she was there that would have unnerved me! And she came up afterward and complimented me! I told her that she was a big influence!”] [Another sidebar about electric bass playing with a pick: He’s on a hotel gig here in Albuquerque at La Posada, with Sharon Shaheen on piano, the same night Pat Metheny Trio was in town, which was Christian McBride and Billy Higgins “I remember the song was I Should Care that Higgins sat in! So, I played with BILLY HIGGINS! Afterwards, Christian had me show him what I was doing with the pick, he was knocked out and wanted a detailed demonstration, a nice guy” [Another sidebar about famous drummers: During the brief time he was with Burt Bacharach (Bobby Shew in that band, and Milcho Leviev) a local singer asked the rhythm section to help her make a demo, in a professional studio, so, somewhere out there are recordings of David with Grady Tate!]————–For a minute there, David was looking to relocate up to Glendale area to be near his daughters but economics and California money would drain him, so, he’s now seriously considering moving back to Albuquerque in early March 2022 [telcon 2nov2021 DP > MW]
Thanks, Mark. Great and fascinating summary…Dave’s memory is infiniitely better than mine!
Thanks so much to both Mark and Klaus for an outstanding presentation of the material in the David Parlato Time Line.
I am gratful and very appreciative to both of you for such fine work!
Peace and Love
Man, that’s quite a bio. Great resource.
Six degrees of separation: I think I crossed paths with Judy Frisk in the TM Movement. And, I was at the Beverly Theater for something in 1982. We could have crossed paths. What a world, eh?
Yes, Maharishi was there.
Thanks for sending this….very interesting….the guy had some career…
our group will be recording soon & I’ll send you some more..
thanks for everything….charley
How do I contact Dave? I used to go to his gigs when Dave played with Buddy Rich in Century City in LA and drink whiskey shots with band members in between sets. I graduated from Loyola University of Los Angeles in 1966 and knew Dave while he was there. I am a currently a psychologist in private practice Iiving in Las Vegas since 1971. My son is a computer graphic artist and musician living and working in New Zealand and he used to listen to the Zappa big band albums that Dave was on, especially The Grand Wazoo and Sleep Dirt. I would like to catch up with Dave and hopefully he and my son can exchange pleasantries via e-mail.
I may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org (Louis Mortillaro, Ph.D.).