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Burnin' Bird

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Album Review

This Savoy compilation features various recordings made by saxophonist Charlie Parker during the mid- to late- '40s. Most die-hard bebop fanatics will have these tracks on other discs, but neophytes should find Burnin' Bird useful. Included are such legendary recordings as "Koko," "Ornithology," and "Shaw 'Nuff" — many of which feature other jazz icons like trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. While not definitive, Burnin' Bird competes well with similar single-disc Parker compilations.


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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