The Original Recordings of Charlie Parker is a compilation of 12 tracks recorded by Charlie Parker during his years with the Verve label. The CD isn't in chronological order or even comprehensive enough to deem it a "best of." That is not to say that this album doesn't contain some phenomenal recordings; it does. Bird features some of Parker's best, including "Now's the Time," "Blues for Alice," and "K.C. Blues" (the latter is a collaboration with Miles Davis). In addition to the 11 studio tracks, it also has a 12-minute live version of "Lester Leaps In" which features the tune's composer, Lester Young. Since most Charlie Parker fans will have these songs on other discs, they can probably skip this one. However, this is a decent place to start for those looking for an introduction to Parker or bebop.
If you are interested in exploring Bird but are put off by the innumerable collections and packages, this might be the one for you. Most of the recordings are good quality or better, you get a flavor of CP's playing across forms that might surprise you, and the album has several gems that you'll want to listen to repeatedly. Culling a career, even a short one, into one meaningful disk is a thankless task but I feel Keepnews, who made this selection from his larger boxed set, has done a great job. If you start here, you may not stop, it's that good and it will let you appreciate why so many people keep pointing back to this player as a true musical giant. ~ Amazon
Verve gathers together all of the master takes of Charlie Parker's recordings with the swinging band of Afro-Cuban jazz pioneer Machito, along with ten other Latinized numbers that he cut in 1951-1952. Besides illustrating the willingness of producer Norman Granz to experiment and take Parker out of a small-group bebop straitjacket, this CD shows that Bird's improvisational style changed hardly at all in a Latin setting. He continued to run off his patented lightning bop licks over the congas and bongos and they just happened to interlock with the grooves quite snugly, although he did adapt his phrasing of the tunes themselves to suit their rhythmic lines…
As a leader, Charlie Parker recorded for Savoy and Dial during 1945-1948 and then for Verve exclusively (at least in the studios) during 1949-1954. This remarkable ten-CD box set, which adds quite a bit of material to an earlier ten-LP set, contains all of these recordings plus Bird's earlier appearances with Jazz at the Philharmonic. The JATP jams are highlighted by Parker's perfect solo on "Oh Lady Be Good," a ferocious improvisation on "The Closer," and a solo on "Embraceable You" that tops his more famous studio recording. In addition, this box has all of the "Bird and Strings" sides, his meetings with Machito's Cuban orchestra, the 1950 session with Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, small-group dates (including a 1951 meeting with Miles Davis), odd encounters with voices and studio bands, the famous "Jam Blues" with fellow altoists Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter, and his final recordings, a set of Cole Porter tunes. The fact-filled 34-page booklet is also indispensable. Highly recommended.
A young man falls overboard and is saved by a beautiful Polynesian girl. They fall in love, but their idyll is smashed when the local volcano begins to erupt. The man discovers that the local custom is to sacrifice a young woman to the volcanic gods. They try to escape but realize that "east is east and west is west, and never the twain shall meet."