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Album Review

Birdsong is a solid single-disc collection of the legendary bebop tracks recorded by alto saxophonist Charlie Parker and a very young Miles Davis on trumpet. Competing well with previous compilations, this Savoy-produced package focuses on Parker's compositions, including such classics as "Parker's Mood," "Koko," and "Ornithology." Also elevating the overall presentation here are detailed liner notes by producer Orrin Keepnews. While this material is readily available, jazz neophytes looking for a solid overview of both Parker and Davis' work should find this a terrific introduction.

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Biography

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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