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Jazz - Released January 1, 2016 | Verve Reissues

Distinctions Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Bebop - Released August 8, 1957 | Verve

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released February 28, 2020 | Craft Recordings

To celebrate the centenary of Charlie Parker’s birthday on August 29th 1920 in Kansas City, this impeccable compilation brings together sessions recorded by the saxophonist for the Savoy label between 1944 and 1948. 28 tracks have been restored and remastered by Paul Blakemore, with music by legends such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Bud Powell and John Lewis, a veritable soundtrack to the birth of bebop. Some of the tracks are taken from an almost mythical session from November 1945 which some baptised ‘The Greatest Jazz Session Ever’, with Miles, Max Roach and Curley Russell presented as Charlie Parker’s Reboppers. The virtuosity and acrobatic poetry displayed by Bird and his friends revolutionised jazz, which had until then never known such freedom and technical excellency. Of course, the themes themselves (Donna Lee, Chasin’ the Bird, Milestones, Now’s the Time, Parker’s Mood, Marmaduke...) are so gorgeous that they have all become standards in their own right. Charlie Parker not only rewrote the jazz rulebook but also invented a language and an aesthetic that would go on to influence countless musicians. An essential album. ©️ Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 10, 2002 | Savoy

Through the miracle of high-resolution digital transfer and mastering technology, Bird enthusiasts can now get an earful of the shape of Charlie Parker's musical accomplishments for Savoy and Dial in the 1940s. Available as a three-disc box set, the alto saxophonist is recorded in various configurations as performer and bandleader with such mainstream jazz greats as trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, pianists Bud Powell and Erroll Garner, drummer Max Roach, trombonist J.J. Johnson, and bassist Ray Brown, to name but a few. Charlie Parker draws on his pungent roots and rhythms of the Kansas City jazz scene on "Parker's Mood" and makes a deep statement of the existence of the blues in the jazz tradition. His freedom and rapid-fire sax lines on "Yardbird Suite" serve to confirm his excellence in crafting polished improvisations and solos. One of Parker's strongest compositions, "Orinithology," is pure, unadulterated bebop, and the unique sound of Parker's alto saxophone is clearly articulated through smoothly executed phrasings and cutting, focused energy. Parker picks up the tenor saxophone with the Miles Davis All-Stars on such great songs as "Milestones" and "Sippin' at Bell's." Overall, Bird audiophiles, jazz educators, and historians should be prepared to be impressed. This collection is arguably Bird's most important recording studio work. © Paula Edelstein /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1955 | Verve

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Jazz - Released February 5, 2008 | Rhino - Elektra

Charlie Parker had a rare chance to play with a big band during this Washington D.C. concert. Appearing without any rehearsal or even with music in front of him, Bird performed eight numbers with the orchestra, anticipating where the arrangements would go and not missing a cue. His brilliant playing on this out-of-print LP demonstrates to all listeners why he was considered one of the giants of jazz. The recommended set concludes with Red Rodney in the early '80s reminiscing a bit about his time with Charlie Parker. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2015 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Debut Records

This concert was held at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada on May 15, 1953, and was recorded by bassist Charles Mingus, who overdubbed some additional bass parts and issued it on his own Debut label as the Quintet's Jazz at Massey Hall. Charlie Parker (listed on the original album sleeve as "Charlie Chan") performed on a plastic alto, pianist Bud Powell was stone drunk from the opening bell, and Dizzy Gillespie kept popping offstage to check on the status of the first Rocky Marciano-Jersey Joe Walcott heavyweight championship bout. Subsequent editions of this evening were released as a double-live album (featuring Bud Powell's magnificent piano trio set with Mingus and Roach), dubbed The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever. The hyperbole is well-deserved, because at the time of this concert, each musician on Jazz at Massey Hall was considered to be the principle instrumental innovator within the bebop movement. All of these musicians were influenced by Charlie Parker, and their collective rapport is magical. As a result, their fervent solos on the uptempo tunes ("Salt Peanuts" and "Wee") seem to flow like one uninterrupted idea. "All the Things You Are" redefines Jerome Kern's classic ballad, with frequent echoes of "Grand Canyon Suite" from Bird and Diz, and a ruminative solo by Powell. And on Gillespie's classic "Night in Tunisia," the incomparable swagger of Bird's opening break is matched by the keening emotional intensity of Gillespie's daredevil flight. A legendary set, no matter how or when or where it's issued. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Savoy

Alto saxophonist Charlie Parker was instrumental in tipping jazz over from the swing genre, which was predominantly a dance music, to bop, which aspired to art, an intellectual dance if you will, and this mid-'40s sea change began to alter the way audiences approached jazz, and pop music in general. The recordings included in this selection of Parker's classic Savoy sides were front and center in the change-over, and the first thing that hits is the frantic pace of most of these, although they are still ostensibly dance tracks, and the second thing that sticks out in tracks like "Donna Lee" is a re-establishment of the blues as a central thematic template. Bop would slow some as it evolved, and its links to dance would abate and all but vanish as things morphed into what became known as hard bop, but the blues connection would remain a ghostly constant. Sides like the gorgeous and edgy "Parker's Mood" prefigure the slower tempos and deliberate dissonance of hard bop a decade later. There are several different collections of Parker's Savoy period available, some of which are more inclusive than this one, but Timeless makes a nice and compact introduction to a brilliant musician during his finest period. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 28, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Savoy

This compilation whittles Charlie Parker's output on the Savoy and Dial labels down to 20 essential tracks. The booklet is certainly impressive for a best-of item; producer Orrin Keepnews offers a complete sessionography, richly informative track-by-track annotation, and an introductory essay. Interestingly, he includes several originally unissued takes as representative of Parker's best and elects to scrap the 1946 Dial session that yielded a notoriously smacked-out reading of "Lover Man" and ended with Parker being institutionalized. Listeners who can't be bothered with endless alternate takes won't find any here, but devotees will want to seek out the full set, The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948, also brought forth by Savoy in 2002. © David R. Adler /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 30, 2002 | Savoy

This Savoy compilation features various recordings made by saxophonist Charlie Parker during the mid- to late- '40s. Most die-hard bebop fanatics will have these tracks on other discs, but neophytes should find Burnin' Bird useful. Included are such legendary recordings as "Koko," "Ornithology," and "Shaw 'Nuff" -- many of which feature other jazz icons like trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. While not definitive, Burnin' Bird competes well with similar single-disc Parker compilations. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 24, 1995 | Verve Reissues

When producer Norman Granz decided to let Charlie Parker record standards with a full string section (featuring Mitch Miller on oboe!), the purists cried sellout, but nothing could be further from the truth. There's a real sense of involvement from Bird on these sides, which collect up all the master takes and also include some live tracks from Carnegie Hall that -- judging from the sometimes uneasy murmurings of the crowd -- amply illustrate just how weirdly this mixture of bop lines against "legit" arrangements was perceived. The music on this collection is lush, poetic, romantic as hell, and the perfect antidote to a surfeit of jazz records featuring undisciplined blowing. There's a lot of jazz, but there's only one Bird. © Cub Koda /TiVo
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Bebop - Released October 25, 1990 | Verve

As a leader, Charlie Parker recorded for Savoy and Dial during 1945-1948 and then for Verve exclusively (at least in the studios) during 1949-1954. This remarkable ten-CD box set, which adds quite a bit of material to an earlier ten-LP set, contains all of these recordings plus Bird's earlier appearances with Jazz at the Philharmonic. The JATP jams are highlighted by Parker's perfect solo on "Oh Lady Be Good," a ferocious improvisation on "The Closer," and a solo on "Embraceable You" that tops his more famous studio recording. In addition, this box has all of the "Bird and Strings" sides, his meetings with Machito's Cuban orchestra, the 1950 session with Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, small-group dates (including a 1951 meeting with Miles Davis), odd encounters with voices and studio bands, the famous "Jam Blues" with fellow altoists Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter, and his final recordings, a set of Cole Porter tunes. The fact-filled 34-page booklet is also indispensable. Highly recommended. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1986 | Verve Reissues

This collection of 78 rpm singles, all recorded on June 6, 1950, was released in 1956. Several things distinguish this from numerous other quintet recordings featuring these two bebop pioneers. It was recorded during the period that Parker was working under the aegis of producer Norman Granz, whose preference for large and unusual ensembles was notorious. The end result in this case is a date that sounds very much like those that Parker and Gillespie recorded for Savoy and Dial, except with top-of-the-line production quality. Even more interesting, though, is Parker's choice of Thelonious Monk as pianist. Unfortunately, Monk is buried in the mix and gets very little solo space, so his highly idiosyncratic genius doesn't get much exposure here. Still, this is an outstanding album -- there are fine versions of Parker standards like "Leap Frog," "Mohawk," and "Relaxin' with Lee," as well as a burning performance of "Bloomdido" and twjo interesting (if not entirely thrilling) renditions of the chestnut "My Melancholy Baby." © Rick Anderson /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Blue Note Records

Nine years after Benny Goodman's groundbreaking concert, bebop finally came to Carnegie Hall. Most notable on this 1997 CD (which contains music that has been reissued many times, often incoherently) is the meeting between altoist Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Joined by the underrecorded piano of John Lewis, bassist Al McKibbon and the slightly overrecorded drums of Joe Harris, Bird and Diz generate some real fireworks on five songs, and Parker's rendition of "Confirmation," and the CD's high point, is definitive and memorable. The remainder of the set (ten selections including "Cool Breeze," "One Bass Hit," "Cubano-Be, Cubano-Bop" and "Things to Come") features the Gillespie big band in typically spirited form. Of particular interest are a few numbers ("Relaxin' at Camarillo," which was arranged by George Russell, "Hot House," and "Toccata for Trumpet") that were never recorded in the studio by the big band. Classic bebop. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 23, 1995 | Verve Reissues

Another smart Verve compilation, BIRD'S BEST BOP focuses exclusively on small-group recordings Charlie Parker made between 1949 and 1953. Bird's in stellar company--"Bloomdido" and "Leap Frog," recorded with Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, come flying out of the speakers, crackling with energy. "K.C. Blues," with a young Miles Davis on trumpet, lets us hear Parker in a more gutbucket mood, while "The Song Is You," with the familiar rhythm section of Teddy Kotick and Max Roach, simply soars from start to finish. Jon Shapiro's succinct song-by-song analysis offers insights into the structural sources of Parker's compositions. With the exception of two standards, the material here is all Bird's, and includes essentials like "Au Privave," "Now's The Time," "Confirmation" and "Blues For Alice." An essay by Phil Woods conveys something of the life-transforming effect Parker had on an entire generation of young musicians, all of whom asked themselves the same thing when confronted with Bird's sound for the first time: "How could one man have turned the universe around in such a short time?" © TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Verve Reissues

Musicians like to observe that for all his notoriety as the wellspring of bebop, Charlie "Bird" Parker's music was loaded with the blues. SWEDISH SCHNAPPS is as good a place as any to make that connection with Parker's music, including as it does two of his most enduring bop heads based on the blues, "Au Privave" and "Blues For Alice." While you wouldn't mistake either composition for a Muddy Waters tune, both relate Bird's off-kilter accents and serpentine melodicism at walking tempos that let you hear what's actually going by, instead of leaving you astonished but bemused. To really drive the point home, there's "K.C. Blues," which finds the altoist at his hollerin' best, and "Lover Man," certainly one of the bluesiest 32-bar standards around. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 26, 2007 | Savoy

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Jazz - Released April 17, 1990 | Verve Reissues

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Charlie Parker in the magazine