Technology is changing as fast as our dress codes change cycles. And yet, we still manage to settle in with the things we like. Whether it’s from vinyl to compact disc, VHS to DVD, or simply from form-fitting blue jeans to baggy counterparts, we do enjoy what stays around. With this 8-CD set, seasoned collectors can fill in the gaps. Newer collectors should find the set to be an invaluable piece of history. After all, Charlie Parker and the other artists on this collection created bebop standards that are still at the core of jazz’s mainstream being performed today. Since the collection serves as a reference tool, song titles and artist names are listed below in alphabetical order.
Arranged chronologically and grouped according to the various ensembles appearing on each disc, these original arrangements will bring a smile to your face. Take “Parker’s Mood” as an example. If you haven’t heard those familiar notes a thousand times, then now’s the time. Pun aside, these are the building blocks upon which today’s jazz artists create their own work. The inclusion of alternate tracks and false starts provides an overview of Bird’s improvisation process. Completists will find this collection as close as one can come to having all of Parker’s early recordings in one package. Bird’s swinging blues background and his virtuosic explorations never cease to amaze. There are plenty of surprises. Parker plays tenor on “Little Willie Leaps,” “Half Nelson,” “Milestones” and “Sippin’ at Bell’s” with Miles Davis, John Lewis, Nelson Boyd and Max Roach. Slam Stewart appears with his trademark bass/vocal melodies. Slim Gaillard offers early, easygoing, fun-loving material, while Earl Coleman and Erroll Garner contribute significantly. Highly recommended, this one also comes with an informative 92-page booklet centered on the early career of this remarkable man.
Track Listing: A Night In Tunisia; All the Things You Are; Another Hair Do; Au-Leu-Cha; Barbados; Bebop; Billie
Personnel: Nelson Boyd- bass; Bam Brown- bass, vocals; Melvyn Broiles- trumpet; Ray Brown- bass; Jimmy Bunn- piano; Jimmy Butts- bass; Red Callender- bass; Sid Catlett- drums; Cozy Cole- drums; Earl Coleman- vocals; Miles Davis- trumpet; Arnold Fishkin- bass; Russ Freeman- piano; Slim Gaillard- piano, guitar, vocals; Erroll Garner- piano; Arvin Garrison- guitar; Dizzy Gillespie- trumpet, piano, vocal; Wardell Gray- tenor saxophone; Tiny Grimes- guitar, vocal; Al Haig- piano; George Handy- piano; Clyde Hart- piano; J.C. Heard- drums; J.J. Johnson- trombone; Duke Jordan- piano; Barney Kessel- guitar; Robert Kesterton- bass; Don Lamond- drums; Stan Levey- drums; John Lewis- piano; Dodo Marmarosa- piano; Howard McGhee- trumpet; Vic McMillan- bass; Jack McVea- tenor saxophone; Red Norvo- vibraphone; Remo Palmieri- guitar; Charlie Parker- alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Flip Phillips- tenor saxophone; Roy Porter- drums; Tommy Potter- bass; Bud Powell- piano; Specs Powell- drums; Jimmy Pratt- drums; Max Roach- drums; Shorty Rogers- trumpet; Curly Russell- bass; Zutty Singleton- drums; Slam Stewart- bass; Lucky Thompson- tenor saxophone; Argonne Thornton (Sadik Hakim)- piano; Sarah Vaughan- vocals; Harold