Saturday, July 25, 2020

Charlie Parker - The Birth Of BeBop, Celebration Bird At 100 Selections From The DIAL and SAVOY Recordings (ezz-thetics, 2020)

While many of the events planned to celebrate the centennial of the birth of the great saxophonist Charlie Parker had to be cancelled given the current calamity, here's one that could go ahead. Two discs, one remastering performances from each of Parker's first two record labels, Savoy and Dial, consisting of mostly studio recordings when he was young and seemingly superhuman, pioneering the new jazz sub-genre of bebop, and paving the way for decades of small group jazz to come. Volume one contains tracks from the Dial record label, recorded in Hollywood in 1946 and 1947 and New York City in 1947. The California recordings occurred after a poorly received west coast tour with Dizzy Gillespie led to him being institutionalized briefly and afterwards recording the memorable track "Relaxin' at Camarillo." After returning to New York City, Parker formed a great band with Miles Davis on trumpet, Duke Jordan on piano, Tommy Potter on bass and Max Roach on drums. Three sessions from WOR Studios are presented here with Parker playing original themes and a few popular songs at a very high level. Volume Two presents selections from the Savoy label, which were done in short sessions from 1945-1948. He plays with a range of musicians including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Bud Powell and Max Roach. Several of Parker's most well known melodies are presented in this collection, such as "Koko" and "Donna Lee" and the searing "Thriving From a Riff." The studio sessions are rounded out with some explosive Parker and Gillespie live recordings from Carnegie Hall, 1947 where the principals play lights out on  Dizzy classics like "A Night in Tunisia" and "Groovin' High." These discs are excellent Charlie Parker compilations, from the selection of songs to the state of the art remastering of the recordings by Peter Pfister, who lends Parker's astonishing saxophone playing additional clarity. However, both albums will be issued as limited collectors editions, due to licensing restrictions by Getty Images on the iconic photograph by William Gottlieb used as the cover photo on these discs. DIAL Recordings - Squidco
SAVOY Recordings - Squidco 

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