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Charlie Parker - The Complete Savoy and Dial Recordings (1944-48) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 October 2000

Charlie Parker
The Complete Savoy and Dial Recordings (1944-48)
format: CD
label: WEA/Savoy Jazz
release year: 2000
performance: 8.5
sound 7
reviewed by: Brian Kahn

ImageCharlie Parker: The Complete Savoy and Dial Recordings chronicles the most productive period of Charlie "Bird" Parker’s career. Parker, an alto saxophonist-composer, was largely responsible for the bebop movement in the United States. Parker often played with other jazz luminaries, such as Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, all of whom join Parker on this eight-disc set.

The set is arranged in chronological order for the most part and master tracks from each session are grouped together, followed by the alternates. I strongly recommend listening to the discs in order, as they bring the listener on a journey through the progression of the bebop era. Parker’s music of the period is truly wonderful and inspired. Whether it is the fast-paced, infamous "Koko" or the mellow "Bird of Paradise," Parker’s music is captivating.

The producer of this boxed set, Orrin Keepnews, utilizes the latest technology to wring the most out of the old acetate recordings. This Parker set sounds much better than any prior release; the time and care spent in re-mastering is evident. As this set contains all recordings from Dial and Savoy (that in itself is something special), including false starts and incomplete takes, there is some repetition, but this can be easily minimized if you so desire, as the alternates are separated from the master takes. Producer Keepnews has grouped together all of the master takes from each session, followed by the alternates.

This box set is a must for any fan of Charlie Parker and bebop. This set captures much of this era, the highpoint of bebop, and sounds better than most recordings of its period.

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