This four-CD box set contains all of the recordings Charlie Parker made for the Savoy label and it is overflowing with gems and an almost countless number of alternate takes. Bird was one of the most important jazzmen of all time and nearly every note he recorded (in the studios if not live) is well worth hearing. This box starts off with his sideman date with Tiny Grimes in 1944, contains Parker's famous "Ko Ko" session of 1945 (with a young Miles Davis on trumpet and highlighted by "Now's the Time" and "Billie's Bounce"), and continues through his 1947-1948 quintet sessions with a more mature Miles Davis; either Bud Powell, John Lewis, or Duke Jordan on piano; bassists Tommy Potter, Curly Russell, or Nelson Boyd; and drummer Max Roach. Together they recorded such classics as "Donna Lee," "Chasin' the Bird," "Milestones," and "Parker's Mood." Every scrap that the great altoist cut for Savoy is in this box.
This release features some of the best live recordings by the celebrated Benny Goodman Sextet featuring the legendary Charlie Christian. Taken from rare radio broadcasts, they present the magic of Christians guitar during his short-lived three year music career, before he succumbed to tuberculosis in early 1942. As a bonus, this edition presents four tracks taken from a jam session at Minneapolis Harlem Breakfast Club, presenting the Jerry Jerome Quartet with Charlie Christian on electric guitar (including extended solos), Frankie Hines on piano and the great Oscar Pettiford on bass (no drums).
Another typically wonderful LP of Ella Fitzgerald in her prime, Fitzgerald is joined by pianist Lou Levy, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Joe Mondragon, and drummer Stan Levey. Fitzgerald is in fine form on such numbers as "A Night in Tunisia," an emotional "You're My Thrill," "Jersey Bounce," and "Clap Hands! Here Comes Charlie." Although not reaching the heights of her live performances, this is an excellent (and somewhat underrated) set.