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November 22, 2010


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Jeff Rzepiela

These are my favorite recordings by Bird. As you note, it is all prime playing, including the alternate tracks.

As a complement, pick up
'Charlie Parker: The Complete Live Performances on Savoy". This is a four disc set covering roughly the same period in Bird's life. Excellent liner notes by Loren Schoenberg. The one caveat is that the first three discs feature material recorded live at the Royal Roost. These tracks were originally broadcast on Symphony Sid Torin's radio show. They have decided to include all of Sid's patter between the tracks. For me, a little Symphony Sid goes a long way, so he becomes a distraction after a while.

Keith Hedger

I was given a twofer back in 1978 for my Birthday - 'the very best of bird' on Dial. I remember there was a cut of the 'famous alto break' from 'Night in Tunisia' which preceded the full version of the tune. I used to listen to the break, move the needle back, listen to the break ad nauseam. I just couldn't believe anybody could even PLAY the damned break, much less think it up!!! =:-)

keith hedger

Joe Walker

Good call. I absolutely love this set. I don't own it myself, but it's one of my go-to workhorses on Rhapsody (along with James Brown's Star Time), especially when I need a Bird fix.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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