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  • Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes
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Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes

73 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 24, 1995
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$14.99
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$14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes + The Best of Charlie Parker: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Compared to his other albums, Bird's improvisations here are more distilled and economical; at the same time, he's never been more clear-headed than this (it's no wonder Parker himself named this record as his personal favorite)! The lush string arrangements and rhythm section's delicate swing intertwine on Just Friends; Everything Happens to Me; April in Paris; Summertime; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; If I Should Lose You; Dancing in the Dark; Out of Nowhere; Laura; They Can't Take That Away from Me; Easy to Love; I'm in the Mood for Love; I'll Remember April; Easy to Love; Autumn in New York , and more. 24 tracks in all!

Amazon.com

Charlie Parker welcomed the opportunity to record standards with a small string ensemble in 1949, and the results are stunning, his liquid alto soaring over the tuneful and only occasionally stiff arrangements. Along the way, he invests tunes like "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" and "Laura" with a unique blend of bluesy realism and mercurial improvisation. The CD adds live versions from a Carnegie Hall concert, and there are also two brilliant versions of Neal Hefti's "Repetition." The 1947 version has Bird flying spontaneously over the dense orchestration of horns, strings, and Latin percussion. --Stuart Broomer

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Just Friends 3:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Everything Happens To Me 3:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. April In Paris 3:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Summertime 2:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. I Didn't Know What Time It Was 3:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. If I Should Lose You 2:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Dancing In The Dark (With Studio Chatter) 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Out Of Nowhere 3:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Laura 2:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon) 3:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. They Can't Take That Away From Me 3:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Easy To Love 3:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. I'm In The Mood For Love 3:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
14. I'll Remember April 3:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
15. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Live At Carnegie Hall/1950) 2:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
16. April In Paris (Live At Carnegie Hall/1950) 3:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
17. Repetition (Live At Carnegie Hall/1950) 2:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
18. Easy To Love (Live (1949/Carnegie Hall)) 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
19. Rocker (I'll Remember April) (Live At Carnegie Hall/1950) 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
20. Temptation 3:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
21. Lover 3:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
22. Autumn In New York 3:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
23. Stella By Starlight 2:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
24. Repetition 2:57$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 24, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0000046WK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,280 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Beck on October 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This album is very important in that it shows Bird's ability to lead a large ensemble, albeit an ensemble playing relatively standard arrangements, and it demonstrates Bird's unparalleled ability with improvisation, unmatched to this day. Since this orchestra was not really pushing Bird to further heights via reharmonizations, comping chords or frantic solos, Bird had to create his improvisations all on his own, without a Dizzy or Bud Powell to play off of. And this he does with alarming precision, as the first bars of 'Just Friends' will attest to- he probably suggests 7 or 8 chord changes within 10 seconds and over essentially a 3 chord opening sequence.

Bird himself was overjoyed to work with a string ensemble, as he felt that it would lend credibility to his status as a serious musician, even though by the time this was recorded he has already produced works that would put him easily in the top 5 of 20th century musicians along with Stravinsky and Louis Armstrong. As amazing as Bird was, it's important to note that he really only worked within two song forms, blues and popular song standards like 'Cherokee' and 'How High the Moon', which he put his own indelible stamp upon. It is for this reason that I find this album so important beyond just enjoying the music, as it demonstrates a massive extension to Bird's repertoire, which before this was limited primarily to smaller groups, not including his sideman work with Jay McShann and Billy Eckstein. Had he lived longer, he would have undoubtedly ventured into modern classical music, as he was hoping to collaborate with Edgar Varese through formal instruction.

I think I was most surprised upon hearing this album for the first time that it was considered a sell-out commercial farce upon its release. Yeah- you could really see today's commercial music populous being interested in this album. This is complex, harrowing music and is romantic as all hell. Anyone could appreciate this if given the chance.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Edelman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Paulo Leite on May 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I just had to write a few words about this record. It is absolutelly beautiful... This is my favorite Jazz album (along with Brubeck's Time Out) and every time I listen to it is like meeting an old friend.

This CD comprises a 10" LP called "Charlie Parker with Strings", another LP called "Jazz Concert" and an EP called "Charlie Parker With Strings" (not related to the first one). So it contains recordings made in 1947 (only the last track), 1949, 1950 and 1952.

The music... pure genius. Here, Bird plays only standards. But when he plays them, all standards look like they were written just for Charlie. It looks like they were waiting to be played by him all along. Like no one else have ever played them before. He comes and goes, he improvises, he returns.. and he never gets too far... and he never gets too literal.

My favorite tracks are "Just Friends" (played with an eloquence seldon seen on any version of this song), "Laura" (simply the best version of this song ever played), "April in Paris" (in this cd you get TWO versions), "I didn't Know what Time It Was" and "I'm in the Mood for Love".

Listening to this record once more, I get to see how this troubled musician was capable of such beautiful feelings. And indeed he was a man of feelings.

But there is more. The orchestration is clear and quick to respond (the kind of orchestras we only see in the 50's). If there are records where everything is right... look no further. This is it.

It is also worth mentioning that these recordings were produced by a legend among Jazz producers: Norman Granz (if you are reading this, you probably know him already from other classic Jazz recordings).

Plus: the CD comes with new linear notes and nice reproductions of the original ones.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jay on May 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is definitely one of Charlie Parker's best albums. The vast majority of Bird fans out there seem to really like this album. But there are a few that look at this album as a cop-out on Bird's part because it is not in the fast-paced bebop style for which he is most well-known. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though Bird is playing with a string section, everything he plays on here is in his own style. He plays a large selection of all standard tunes and plays every one of them with great feeling. I highly recommend this album to all fans of Bird's music. I also recomend this to fans of classical music as well. Everytime I meet a person who tells me they are into classical music I tell them to get this album and 80% of the time they tell me they already have it and how much they love it. So whether you're a jazz fan, a Bird fan, or just a fan of great music, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
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