The Savoy imprint, after being acquired by an assortment of companies over the years, has been reinvigorated to celebrate its 60th anniversary. This three-disc set includes all of Parker's work for the Dial and Savoy labels (excluding alternate takes–hence the title). It starts off with his appearance as a sideman with the Tiny Grimes Quintette, at which time the 24-year-old's alto saxophone playing bears his unmistakable stamp of fluidity and daring aplomb. The stellar lights of bebop are heard throughout this set, as Parker plays with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Max Roach, creating the enduring shape of contemporary jazz.
Charlie Parker's historic Dial sessions have been reissued in a variety of ways over the years. This is especially true since the advent of the compact disc. These sessions not only capture Parker's alto brillance but highlight his interaction with such jazz stalwarts as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Duke Jordan, Max Roach, Erroll Garner, Howard McGhee and Dodo Marmarosa. This four-disc set is broken up into Hollywood Sessions 1: Moose the Mooche, Hollywood Sessions 2: Relaxin' at Camarillo, New York Sessions 1: Scrapple from the Apple, and New York Sessions 2: Drifting on a Reed. It's fortunate that these slices of jazz history are available allowing the listener to hear several takes of classics like "Moose the Mooch," "Relaxin at Camarillo," "Scrapple from the Apple," and "Ornithology" take shape. Sound quality on these Stash discs is good for the most part, fair but not great on others.
Charlie Parker was a legendary Grammy Award–winning jazz saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, invented the musical style called bop or bebop. Charlie Parker was born on August 29, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas. From 1935 to 1939, he played the Missouri nightclub scene with local jazz and blues bands. In 1945 he led his own group while performing with Dizzy Gillespie on the side. Together they invented bebop. In 1949, Parker made his European debut, giving his last performance several years later. He died a week later on March 12, 1955, in New York City.
This second installment in the Classics Charlie Parker chronology contains quite a number of Bird's best-loved and most respected recordings. The first 12 tracks, recorded in New York for the Dial label in October and November of 1947, are all masterpieces of modern music, with the ballads, especially "Embraceable You," constituting some of Parker's very best recorded work. This is the classic 1947 quintet with Miles Davis, Duke Jordan, Tommy Potter, and Max Roach. Even if his personal life was characteristically chaotic, 1947 was a good year for Charlie Parker's music. It was in November 1947 that this band hit the road to play the El Sino Club on St. Antoine Boulevard in Detroit. Unfortunately, Bird got really snockered and couldn't perform, so the El Sino management canceled the gig. Bird ultimately destroyed his saxophone by throwing it out of a hotel window onto the street below. (A tragic and disturbing image!) Back in New York, the band – now a sextet with the addition of trombonist J.J. Johnson – made six more sides for Dial on December 17, 1947.
Discovering previously unheard music is a consistent hope for serious jazz fans. Finding unreleased music from legends, especially those who departed far too early with their legacies incomplete, is a true joy. Fans, scholars and collectors who want to have a complete overview on Charlie Parker’s work and career can now dig into a new collection of previously unreleased tracks.
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…