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Best of the Complete Savoy & Dial Studio Recordings

Charlie Parker

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Album Review

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, Rovi

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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