Charlie "Bird" Parker's perfect attack on alto saxophone, along with his crystal-clear phrasing and high-velocity improvisations, made him one of the 20th century's most imitated musicians. This eight-CD set, which represents the best remastering of Parker's fertile Dial and Savoy sides to date, was produced by veteran producer Orrin Keepnews. It includes the legendary roundtable of bebop knights: trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis; bassists Curly Russell and Tommy Potter; drummer Max Roach; and pianists Bud Powell, Duke Jordan, and John Lewis.
Disc 1 begins with Parker as a sideman for guitarist Tiny Grimes, which yielded the pre-bop jump-blues sides "Tiny's Tempo" and "Romance Without Finance." The other tracks are first-generation bop classics: "Groovin' High," "Salt Peanuts," "Koko," and "Hot House." The remaining seven discs feature Bird's genius in other musical dimensions. Bird's recompositions of the standards "All the Things You Are," "Whispering," and "Embraceable You" stand out, as do the zesty "Barbados," "Bongo Bop," and "Night in Tunisia" (with the famous alto break). Underrated baritone Earl Coleman sings the ebony-embered ballad "Dark Shadows." But above all, Bird was a blues player. Nothing illustrates this better than the memorable blues ballad "Parker's Mood," on which his soulful, wailing alto is matched by John Lewis's rich, lyrical accompaniment. These tracks contain other gems, including a young and nervous Miles Davis sputtering Fats Navarro-style trumpet solos on "Milestones" and "Now's the Time," with Gillespie playing piano. Although he died at the age of 34 in 1955, Parker, along with Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, formed the Holy Trinity that created bebop, and this set is Bird flying high. --Eugene Holley Jr.
Another person worth checking out is Earl "father" Hines. Awesome and innovative jazz pianist! Parker and Gillespie played along his side too.
Studying Bebop is a great way to train yourself to think musically.
[Edited by noticingthemistake on 09-14-2003 at 12:36 PM]
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.