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Charlie Parker: The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings (1944

C. Michael Bailey By

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On the heels of Louis Armstrong: The Complete Hot Fives and Sevens Savoy releases another seminal chapter in the development of Jazz.

If Louis Armstrong’s The Complete Hot Fives and Sevens can be seen as Moses’ contribution to the Old Testament, then certainly Charlie Parker’s mid 1940s recordings for Savoy and Dial can be seen as the one of the New Testament’s Gospels (perhaps John. Extending the metaphor to its logical conclusion, John Coltrane would have provided Revelations). Like Scripture, gozillions of words have been penned about Parker and these recordings. So, what revelations remain to be revealed? Perhaps, it is how we might view the genius and cultural contribution of Charlie Parker. And, as with all Jazz, the devil is in the details.

Author and Critic James Patrick musicologically points out that the entire Savoy output consists of 30 sides. Of these 30 pieces, only three are originals (songs not having a harmonic basis in the Standards). Eleven of the pieces are 12-bar blues; five are harmonically based on “I’ve got Rhythm”, one on “Honeysuckle Rose”, two on the combined chord patterns of “I’ve got Rhythm” and “Honeysuckle Rose”, and eight used the progressions of other Standards. Twenty-tow of these thirty pieces are listed as composed by Parker and contain 213 measures of new melodic material. That is an average of about ten original melodic measures per side. On the surface, this would seem to reduce the significance of Parker’s contribution until one realizes that it was basically Parker, who while playing “Cherokee” explored alternate melodic intervals, creating the Be Bop genre and impacting all jazz made afterward.

In this sense, Parker is not unlike T. S. Eliot. Eliot’s poetry and criticism relied heavily on allusion to the Classics. His poetry was crammed full of snippets of other works that required the reader be familiar with in order to grasp Eliot’s message. Eliot took the established poetic form and elaborated on it in words, as Parker did with “I’ve Got Rhythm” and “Embraceable You” in music. Both artists were instrumental in reevaluating their art and recasting it in such a way that their respective arts could do no other than move forward. If there is nothing new under the sun, there are new ways of looking at it. Charlie Parker forced this premise to its critical mass.

The uniqueness of this set lies in the fact that it is comprised o releases from two record labels, a collaboration recently seen with Ken Burns’ Jazz series. It made perfect sense to release the Savoy and Dial catalogs as Parker improvised his legal contracts as he did his music— on his own terms. Historically, Parker began to record for Savoy in 1944 and while on his fateful trip to the West Coast in 1945, signed with Ross Russell’s Dial label, making his most (in)famous recordings. As an aside, I disagree with critic Bill Kirchner, who contends that the Dial “Loverman” session of July 29, 1946 was... “the nadir of Parker’s recording career.” There is a certain nakedness in need. This is what was expressed at these sessions. Like Lady Day’s Lady in Satin, a desperate dignity for all to hear and see, and most importantly, be moved by. Parker returned covertly to Savoy in 1947 and 1948, after which Jazz would never be the same. It would not be until John Coltrane that the music would be so moved.

The benefit of the 20th and 21st Century technology is the ability to record history in sound. We should be grateful for such. We will never know how Bach actually played The Art of Fugue, but we will know how Charlie Parker redefined America.


Track Listing: Disc 1: 1. Tiny's Tempo - 3 - Charlie Parker Grimes, Tiny 2:55; 2. I'll Always Love You Just The Same - 2 - Charlie Parker Grimes, Tiny 3:01; 3. Romance Without Finance - 5 - Charlie Parker Grimes, Tiny 3:03; 4. Red Cross - 2 - Charlie Parker, Charlie 3:10; 5. Tiny's Tempo - 1 - Charlie Parker Grimes, Tiny 3:02; 6. Tiny's Tempo - 2 Grimes, Tiny 3:02; 7. I'll Always Love You Just The Same - 1 Grimes, Tiny 2:59; 8. Romance Without Finance - 1 Grimes, Tiny 3:08; 9. Romance Without Finance - 2 (Incomplete Take) Grimes, Tiny 1:02; 10. Romance Without Finance - 3 Grimes, Tiny 3:09; 11. Romance Without Finance - 4 (Incomplete Take) Grimes, Tiny 0:45; 12. Red Cross - 1 Parker, Charlie 3:17; 13. Groovin' High Gillespie, Dizzy 2:44; 14. All The Things You Are Hammerstein, Oscar 2:49; 15. Dizzy Atmosphere Gillespie, Dizzy 2:49; 16. Salt Peanuts Gillespie, Dizzy 3:18; 17. Shaw 'Nuff Gillespie, Dizzy 3:02; 18. Lover Man Ramirez, Ram 3:25; 19. Hot House Dameron, Tadd 3:12; 20. Warmin' Up A Riff - 1 Parker, Charlie 2:36; 21. Billie's Bounce - 5 Parker, Charlie 3:09; 22. Now's The Time - 4 Parker, Charlie 3:16; 23. Thrivin' From A Riff - 3 Parker, Charlie 2:56; 24. Meandering - 1 Parker, Charlie 3:18; 25. KoKo - 2 Parker, Charlie 2:53. Disc 2: 1. Billie's Bounce - 1 - Charlie Parker's Reboppers Parker, Charlie 2:43; 2. Billie's Bounce - 2 (Incomplete Take) - Charlie Parker's Reboppers Parker, Charlie 1:44; 3. Billie's Bounce - 3 - Charlie Parker's Reboppers Parker, Charlie 3:07; 4. Billie's Bounce - 4 (Incomplete Take) - Charlie Parker's Reboppers Parker, Charlie 1:39; 5. Now's The Time - 1 (False Start) - Charlie Parker's Reboppers Parker, Charlie 0:21; 6. Now's The Time - 2 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:38; 7. Now's The Time - 3 Parker, Charlie 3:08; 8. Thrivin' On A Riff - 1 Parker, Charlie 3:00; 9. Thrivin' On A Riff - 2 (False Start) Parker, Charlie 0:24; 10. KoKo - 1 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:39; 11. Dizzy's Boogie Gaillard, Bulee " 3:09; 12. Flat Foot Floogie Gaillard, Sam 2:32; 13. Poppity Pop Gaillard, Bulee " 2:57; 14. Slim's Jam Gaillard, Bulee " 3:15; 15. Dizzy's Boogie Parker, Charlie 3:14; 16. Flat Foot Floogie Parker, Charlie 2:46; 17. Diggin' Diz Handy, George 2:53; 18. Moose The Mooche - 2 Parker, Charlie 3:03; 19. Yardbird Suite - 4 Parker, Charlie 2:55; 20. Ornithology - 4 Parker, Charlie 3:01; 21. A Night In Tunisia - 5 Gillespie, Dizzy 3:05; 22. Moose The Mooche - 1 Parker, Charlie 2:59; 23. Moose The Mooche - 3 Parker, Charlie 2:55; 24. Yardbird Suite - 1 Parker, Charlie 2:39; 25. Ornithology - 1 Parker, Charlie 2:59; 26. Ornithology - 3 Parker, Charlie 3:18; 27. A Night In Tunisia - 1 (Incomplete Take) Gillespie, Dizzy 0:50; 28. A Night In Tunisia - 4 Gillespie, Dizzy 3:02. Disc 3: 1. Max Making Wax - A - Charlie Parker Quintet Pettiford, Oscar 2:30; 2. Lover Man - A - Charlie Parker Quintet Ramirez, Ram 3:19; 3. The Gypsy - A - Charlie Parker Quintet Reid, Billy 3:01; 4. Bebop - A - Charlie Parker Quintet Gillespie, Dizzy 2:53; 5. Blues On The Sofa (Blues #1) - Charlie Parker, Charlie 0:46; 6. Kopely Plaza Blues (Blues #2) Parker, Charlie 1:03; 7. Yardbird Suite Parker, Charlie 2:14; 8. Lullaby In Rhythm, Part 1 Sampson, Edgar 1:29; 9. Lullaby In Rhythm, Part 2 Sampson, Edgar 1:33; 10. Home Cooking II: Cherokee Noble, Ray 2:09; 11. Home Cooking III: I Got Rhythm Gershwin, George 2:28 12. Home Cooking I: Opus McKusick, Hal 2:24; 13. This Is Always - C Gordon, Mack 3:12; 14. Dark Shadows - C Henry, Shifty 3:07; 15. Bird's Nest - C Parker, Charlie 2:45; 16. Cool Blues - C Parker, Charlie 3:05; 17. This Is Always - D Gordon, Mack 3:10; 18. Dark Shadows - A Henry, Shifty 4:04; 19. Dark Shadows - B Henry, Shifty 3:14; 20. Dark Shadows - D Henry, Shifty 2:58; 21. Bird's Nest - A Parker, Charlie 2:51; 22. Bird's Nest - B Parker, Charlie 2:50; 23. Cool Blues - A (Hot Blues/Blowtop Blues) Parker, Charlie 1:57; 24. Cool Blues - B (Blowtop Blues) Parker, Charlie 2:22; 25. Cool Blues - D Parker, Charlie 2:47. Disc 4: 1. Relaxin' At Camarillo - C - Charlie Parker's New Stars Parker, Charlie 3:01; 2. Cheers - D - Charlie Parker's New Stars McGhee, Howard 2:59; 3. Carvin' The Bird - B - Charlie Parker's New Stars McGhee, Howard 2:43; 4. Stupendous - A - Charlie Parker's New Stars McGhee, Howard 2:54; 5. Relaxin' At Camarillo - A - Charlie Parker's New Stars Parker, Charlie 2:58; 6. Relaxin' At Camarillo - D Parker, Charlie 2:58; 7. Relaxin' At Camarillo - E Parker, Charlie 2:54; 8. Cheers - A McGhee, Howard 3:10; 9. Cheers - B McGhee, Howard 3:03; 10. Cheers - C McGhee, Howard 3:01; 11. Carvin' The Bird - A McGhee, Howard 2:44; 12. Stupendous - B McGhee, Howard 2:55; 13. Donna Lee - 5 Parker, Charlie 2:21; 14. Chasin' The Bird - 4 Parker, Charlie 2:32; 15. Cheryl - 1 & 2 (Take 1 False Start) Parker, Charlie 2:49; 16. Buzzy - 5 Parker, Charlie 2:19; 17. Donna Lee - 1 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:14; 18. Donna Lee - 2 Parker, Charlie 2:47; 19. Donna Lee - 3 Parker, Charlie 2:21; 20. Donna Lee - 4 Parker, Charlie 2:25; 21. Chasin' The Bird - 1 Parker, Charlie 2:41; 22. Chasin' The Bird - 2 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:19; 23. Chasin' The Bird - 3 Parker, Charlie 2:47; 24. Buzzy - 1 Parker, Charlie 2:46; 25. Buzzy - 2 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:32; 26. Buzzy - 3 Parker, Charlie 2:27; 27. Buzzy - 4 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:18. Disc 5: 1. Milestones - 2 - Charlie Parker Davis, Miles 2:37; 02. Little Willie Leaps - 3 - Charlie Parker Davis, Miles 2:51; 03. Half Nelson - 2 - Charlie Parker Davis, Miles 2:44; 04. Sippin' At Bell's - 2 - Charlie Parker Davis, Miles 2:23; 05. Milestones - 1 (False Start) - Charlie Parker Davis, Miles 0:08; 06. Milestones - 3 Davis, Miles 2:46; 07. Little Willie Leaps - 1 (Incomplete Take) Davis, Miles 0:35; 08. Little Willie Leaps - 2 Davis, Miles 3:10; 09. Half Nelson - 1 Davis, Miles 2:52; 10. Sippin' At Bell's - 1 (Incomplete Take) Davis, Miles 0:57; 11. Sippin' At Bell's - 3 (False Start) Davis, Miles 0:05; 12. Sippin' At Bell's - 4 Davis, Miles 2:28; 13. Dexterity - B Parker, Charlie 2:58; 14. Bongo Bop - A Parker, Charlie 2:45; 15. Dewey Square - C Parker, Charlie 3:06; 16. The Hymn - B Parker, Charlie 2:27; 17. Bird Of Paradise - C Parker, Charlie 3:11; 18. Embraceable You - B Gershwin, George 3:20; 19. Dexterity - A Parker, Charlie 2:57; 20. Bongo Bop - B Parker, Charlie 2:46; 21. Dewey Square - A Parker, Charlie 3:30; 22. Dewey Square - B Parker, Charlie 3:03; 23. The Hymn - A Parker, Charlie 2:30; 24. Bird Of Paradise - A Parker, Charlie 3:05; 25. Bird Of Paradise - B Parker, Charlie 3:07; 26. Embraceable You - A Gershwin, George 3:40. Disc 6: 1. Bird Feathers - C - Charlie Parker Quintet Parker, Charlie 2:50; 02. Klactoveesedstene - A - Charlie Parker Quintet Parker, Charlie 3:05; 03. Scrapple From The Apple - C - Charlie Parker Quintet Parker, Charlie 2:56; 04. My Old Flame - A - Charlie Parker Quintet Johnston, Arthur 3:09; 05. Out Of Nowhere - B - Charlie Parker Quintet Heyman, Edward 3:48; 06. Don't Blame Me - A Parker, Charlie 2:46; 07. Klactoveesedstene - B Parker, Charlie 3:05; 08. Scrapple From The Apple - B Parker, Charlie 2:38; 09. Out Of Nowhere - A Heyman, Edward 4:03; 10. Out Of Nowhere - C Heyman, Edward 3:03; 11. Drifting On A Reed - E Parker, Charlie 3:01; 12. Quasimado - B Parker, Charlie 2:58; 13. Charlie's Wig - E Parker, Charlie 2:45; 14. Bongo Beep - C Parker, Charlie 3:05; 15. Crazeology - D Harris, Benny 3:02; 16. How Deep Is The Ocean? - A Berlin, Irving 3:30; 17. Drifting On A Reed - B Parker, Charlie 2:57; 18. Drifting On A Reed - D Parker, Charlie 2:57; 19. Quasimado - A Parker, Charlie 2:56; 20. Charlie's Wig - B Parker, Charlie 2:50; 21. Charlie's Wig - D Parker, Charlie 2:50; 22. Bongo Beep - B Parker, Charlie 3:04; 23. Crazeology - A (Incomplete Take) Harris, Benny 1:04; 24. Crazeology - B (Incomplete Take) Harris, Benny 0:35; 25. Crazeology - C Harris, Benny 3:05; 26. How Deep Is The Ocean? - B Berlin, Irving 3:06. Disc 7: 1. Another Hair Do - 4 - Charlie Parker's All Stars Parker, Charlie 2:40; 02. Bluebird - 3 - Charlie Parker's All Stars Parker, Charlie 2:52; 03. Klaunstance - 1 - Charlie Parker's All Stars Parker, Charlie 2:43; 04. Bird Gets The Worm - 3 - Charlie Parker's All Stars Parker, Charlie 2:37; 05. Another Hair Do - 1 (Incomplete Take) - Charlie Parker's All Stars Parker, Charlie 0:17; 06. Another Hair Do - 2 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:46; 07. Another Hair Do - 3 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 1:06; 08. Bluebird - 1 Parker, Charlie 2:55; 09. Bird Gets The Worm - 1 Parker, Charlie 3:01; 10. Bird Gets The Worm - 2 (False Start) Parker, Charlie 0:13; 11. Barbados - 4 Parker, Charlie 2:28; 12. Au-Leu-Cha - 2 Parker, Charlie 0:53; 13. Constellation - 5 Parker, Charlie 2:29; 14. Parker's Mood - 5 Parker, Charlie 3:04; 15. Barbados - 1 Parker, Charlie 0:45; 16. Barbados - 2 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 2:35; 17. Barbados - 3 Parker, Charlie 0:38; 18. Au-Leu-Cha - 1 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:23; 19. Constellation - 1 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 2:33; 20. Constellation - 2 Parker, Charlie 2:07; 21. Constellation - 3 Parker, Charlie 0:23; 22. Constellation - 4 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:05; 23. Parker's Mood - 1 (False Start) Parker, Charlie 3:25; 24. Parker's Mood - 2 Parker, Charlie 0:12; 25. Parker's Mood - 3 (False Start) Parker, Charlie 2:14; 26. Parker's Mood - 4 Parker, Charlie 2:34; 27. Perhaps - 7 Parker, Charlie 2:44; 28. Marmaduke - 12 Parker, Charlie 3:12; 29. Steeplechase - 1 & 2 (Take 1 Incomplete) Parker, Charlie 2:24; 30. Merry Go Round - 2 Parker, Charlie 2:09. Disc 8: 1. Perhaps - 1 - Charlie Parker All Stars Parker, Charlie 0:29; 02. Perhaps - 2 (Incomplete Take) - Charlie Parker All Stars Parker, Charlie 2:09; 03. Perhaps - 3 - Charlie Parker All Stars Parker, Charlie 0:20; 04. Perhaps - 4 (Incomplete Take) - Charlie Parker All Stars Parker, Charlie 0:40; 05. Perhaps - 5 (Incomplete Take) - Charlie Parker All Stars Parker, Charlie 2:24; 06. Perhaps - 6 Parker, Charlie 0:05; 07. Marmaduke - 1 (False Start) Parker, Charlie 1:16; 08. Marmaduke - 2 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:53; 09. Marmaduke - 3 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 0:06; 10. Marmaduke - 4 (False Start) Parker, Charlie 2:57; 11. Marmaduke - 5 Parker, Charlie 0:07; 12. Marmaduke - 6 Parker, Charlie 1:00; 13. Marmaduke - 7 (False Start) Parker, Charlie 0:05; 14. Marmaduke - 8 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 3:06; 15. Marmaduke - 9 (False Start) Parker, Charlie 0:36; 16. Marmaduke - 10 Parker, Charlie 0:50; 17. Marmaduke - 11 (Incomplete Take) Parker, Charlie 2:24; 18. Merry Go Round - 1 (Incomplete Take) Robin, Leo 3:59; 19. Hallelujah - F Koehler, Ted 3:42; 20. Get Happy - D Norvo, Red 4:30; 21. Slam Slam Blues - B Norvo, Red 3:55; 22. Congo Blues - C Robin, Leo 4:11; 23. Hallelujah - A Robin, Leo 4:03; 24. Hallelujah - E Koehler, Ted 4:03; 25. Get Happy - B Norvo, Red 5:06; 26. Slam Slam Blues - A Norvo, Red 1:06; 27. Congo Blues - AA (Incomplete Take) Norvo, Red 1:17; 28. Congo Blues - BB (Incomplete Take) Norvo, Red 4:01; 29. Congo Blues - A Norvo, Red 3:54; 30. Congo Blues

Personnel: Nelson Boyd : Bass; Melvin Broiles : Trumpet; Bam Brown : Bass, Vocals; Ray Brown : Bass; Jimmy Bunn : Piano; Jimmy Butts : Bass; Red Callender : Bass; Sidney "Big Sid" Catlett : Drums; Cozy Cole : Drums; Earl Coleman : Vocals; Miles Davis : Trumpet; Arnold Fishkin : Bass; Slim Gaillard : Guitar, Piano, Vocals; Erroll Garner : Piano; Arv Garrison : Guitar; Dizzy Gillespie : Trumpet, Vocals; Wardell Gray : Sax (Tenor)Tiny Grimes : Guitar, Vocals; Al Haig : Piano; Sadik Hakim : Piano; George Handy : Piano; Clyde Hart : Piano; J.C. Heard : Drums; Duke Jordan : Piano; Barney Kessel : Guitar; Don Lamond : Guitar; Stan Levey : Drums; Dodo Marmarosa : Piano; Howard McGhee : Trumpet; Vic McMillan : Bass; Jack McVea : Sax (Tenor); Red Norvo : Vibraphone; Remo Palmieri : Guitar; Charlie Parker : Sax (Alto); Flip Phillips : Sax (Tenor); 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 : Sax (Tenor); Sarah Vaughan : Vocals.

Title: The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings (1944 | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Savoy Jazz

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