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Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 15: Charlie Parker

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Album Review

For those who haven't yet invested in Definitive's excellent four-CD set Charlie Parker: The Complete Norman Granz Master Takes, Verve Jazz Masters 15 may serve as a useful sampler containing some of this master improviser's best performances recorded between January 1946 and July 1953. In addition to Jazz at the Philharmonic jams ("I Can't Get Started" clocks in at over nine minutes), collaborations with orchestras led by Machito, Joe Lippman, Jimmy Carroll, and Neal Hefti, Bird is heard in the company of the best modern jazzmen of the day. By virtue of the excellent material compiled herein, this potent package rates as one of the best entries in Verve's Jazz Masters series.

Biography

Born: 29 August 1920 in Kansas City, KS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

One of a handful of musicians who can be said to have permanently changed jazz, Charlie Parker was arguably the greatest saxophonist of all time. He could play remarkably fast lines that, if slowed down to half speed, would reveal that every note made sense. "Bird," along with his contemporaries Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell, is considered a founder of bebop; in reality he was an intuitive player who simply was expressing himself. Rather than basing his improvisations closely on the melody as was...
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