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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Charlie Parker

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Album Review

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 consequently Parker was a huge purveyor of the mid-'40s sea change that began to alter the way audiences approached jazz, and pop music in general. This brief, concise overview of his peak years includes "The Bird" (an update of the old swing standard "Topsy"), recorded for Norman Granz's monumental The Jazz Scene project in 1947, and 1950's wonderful "Bloomdido," which reunited Parker with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and boasted a for-the-ages rhythm section of Thelonious Monk, Curly Russell, and Buddy Rich. Another highlight is "K.C. Blues," tracked in 1951 and featuring extended blues improvisations from both Parker and a young Miles Davis. Bird died in 1955, and that it has been nearly 50 years since his passing is unfathomable, since his influence is still so pervasive in jazz and is likely to remain that way, whatever the millennium. This disc is a bare-bones, basic introduction to Parker, but it is only the beginning, and you'll find yourself wanting more almost immediately.

Customer Reviews

Charlie "Bird" Parker IS THE MAN

Bird is the WAY TO GO if your into the bebop jazz feel of the 50's and 60's you should definently choose Bird. Also, Charlie Parker has an amazing sound, I THINK THIS ALBUM IS FANTASTIC


Born: August 29, 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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