Charlie Parker – Jam Session {Verve}


Review by “Jazzcat Stef” (amazon.com)

This is an absolutly marvellous example of what Jazz was and still should be (not because it’s more mainstream than bebop, in any case I love them both). The joy of playing with friends on common grounds, the standards and blues repertoire. I think I own everything Bird has ever played/released or at least I come really near. All the Dial, Savoy, Verve, Benedetti recordings, Bird’s Eyes, Live & Broadcasts, Blue Note concerts, recent discoveries, almost everything (more than 150 cds). This album cannot be considered a pure Bird album because he shared the scene with a lot of other sax stars which gave the session a different feeling from a lot of Bird’s records. I mean that this album is more Jazz “the Kansas City way” than bebop. It is a session more traditional than bebop. The only true beboppers are Bird, Kessel and Peterson (and Brown of course). The others, Webster, Hodges, Carter etc are more traditional than strictly bebop so the overall sound is more on that side of course. But it’s not a complaint, only an obvious consideration. The album is really fresh and entertaining, you can compar eit to a lot of JATP sessions in a sense. So it’s not a “revolutionary” album, not one that set a standard or that marked a change in Jazz history, nevertheless it’s essential in its way. It is a perect representation of what Jazz was more at Lester Young time than Bird time, but it’s very very good. It deserves 5 stars absolutly. Every player shined here and found his time to strecht out and show his bags of tricks fully. One of the highlights is the comping by Oscar Peterson swing machine which gave to the session a fabolous imprinting. The program is damn good. Two very long blues tunes, a very beautiful standard (“What is this thing” one of the standards I love the most) and a ballad medley. Fantastic! And even if Bird is playing more or less his usual cliches and nothing more, he’s still Bird! I love this album, for real. Buy it, you will love it for years and years too.

Tracks:
01 – Jam Blues
02 – What is This Thing Called Love
03 – Ballad Medley:
a) All the Things You Are
b) Dearly Beloved
c) The Nearness of You
d) I’ll Get By
e) Everything Happens to Me
f) The Man I Love
g) What’s New
h) Someone to Watch Over Me
i) Isn’t it Romantic?
04 – Funky Blues

Personnel:
Charlie Shavers, Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges – alto sax
Flip Phillips, Ben Webster – tenor sax
Oscar Peterson – piano
Barney Kessel – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
J.C. Heard – drums

Recorded July, 1952; Los Angeles.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

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Charlie Parker with Strings – The Master Takes {Verve}


Review by Michael J Edelman (amazon.com)

What Parker did on this album isn’t so different from what Miles Davis and Gil Evans did years later with “Sketches of Spain”- and come to think of it, that album was panned by critics who couldn’t understand it, either.
When the string intros start up, the casual listener might assume that this album sisn’t terribly different from the easy-listening music that pours of of elevators and “mellow jazz” radio stations that it’s easy to ignore it. But there’s something much more complex going on; Parker has created something very rare here; he’s taken a music form that few really listened to and framed it in a way that made it more accessible while not compromising his musicality in any way. This isn’t the boring and innoffensive harmonies of a Kenny G.; this is Charlie Parker, and he’s playing for all it’s worth. And it comes through.

Tracks:
01 – Just Friends
02 – Everything Happens to Me
03 – April in Paris [#1]
04 – Summertime
05 – I Didn’t Know What Time it Was
06 – If I Should Lose You
07 – Dancing in the Dark
08 – Out of Nowhere
09 – Laura
10 – East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)
11 – The Can’t Take that Away from Me
12 – Easy to Love [#1]
13 – I’m in the Mood for Love
14 – I’ll Remember April
15 – What is this Thing Called Love?
16 – April in Paris [#2]
17 – Repetition [#1]
18 – Easy to Love [#2]
19 – Rocker
20 – Temptation
21 – Lover
22 – Autumn in New York
23 – Stella by Starlight
24 – Repetition [#2]

Personnel:
Charlie Parker – alto saxophone on all tracks,
accompanied by collective personnel.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork