Charlie Parker was a pioneer of many of the elements and characteristics that make up the 'classic' BeBop sound, forever pushing the boundaries of tempo, tonality and improvisation beyond the limitations of his time. His influence is only too clear today, and is no better demonstrated than in this spectacular tribute performance. Phil Woods, Red Rodney, Rufus Reid, Roy Haynes and Monte Alexander perform their own collective tribute to the great improviser and composer in this very special live concert from Cannes, 1990.
This three-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 four-CD set contains a somewhat streamlined presentation of Parker's complete known live broadcasts from New York's Royal Roost, dating during 1948 and 1949, augmented with five of the live September 29, 1947, Carnegie Hall recordings and one lower-quality tape made in Chicago during 1950…
This LP contains two broadcasts featuring Charlie Parker at Boston's Storyville club in 1953. one set finds him accompanied by the Red Garland Trio (two years before Garland became famous playing with Miles Davis) while the other one also features trumpeter Herb Pomeroy and a trio led by pianist Sir Charles Thompson. The recording quality is just so-so but Bird was in fine form for these sessions, playing hot versions of his usual repertoire.
Veteran Charlie Parker collectors generally know that they should avoid all but his most famous live sessions. It is not that Parker plays badly on this CD reissue (in fact his solo on "Confirmation" is quite miraculous) but, as is often the case with these privately recorded sets, the recording quality is horrible. Bird (with trumpeter Red Rodney, pianist Al Haig, bassist Tommy Potter, and drummer Roy Haynes) plays quite well but these versions only hint at what the music must have sounded like.