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Best of the Complete Savoy & Dial Studio Recordings

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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

Customer Reviews

Best of the best

This takes the cream of the Complete Savoy Sessions (which I cherished on vinyl but have to say had some filler). If you need an intro to Parker, you can't do better. If you want a succinct collection of some of his greatest work, you still can't do better. Just a great, great album.

Great Music, But Incomplete

All of the music here is great, but I question some of the song choices. Why include the MIles Davis led song Milestones and not the stone cold classic Donna Lee. This collection also does not include the Dizzy GIllespie led sessions in 1945 which include Salt Peanuts and Groovin' High. Furthermore, this does not include any of his later recordings, including the classic string sessions and the great Confirmation. The compilation Yardbird Suite (1997) includes all of this over 2 discs, but is not available anymore. This is, however, a good place to start listening to Charlie Parker, one the most revolutionary and important musicians who ever lived.


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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