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The Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, April 26, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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As Ornette Coleman said, "Charlie Parker was blessed with the eternal quality of existing forever." The brief trajectory of Parker's career has directly or indirectly affected all saxophonists who have followed him. Sadly, the machinations and pressures of fame were more than this basically fragile man could bear, and he died at age 34 in 1955.

The Savoy imprint, after being acquired by an assortment of companies over the years, has been reinvigorated to celebrate its 60th anniversary. This three-disc set includes all of Parker's work for the Dial and Savoy labels (excluding alternate takes--hence the title). It starts off with his appearance as a sideman with the Tiny Grimes Quintette, at which time the 24-year-old's alto saxophone playing bears his unmistakable stamp of fluidity and daring aplomb. The stellar lights of bebop are heard throughout this set, as Parker plays with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Max Roach, creating the enduring shape of contemporary jazz. --David Greenberger


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 26, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Savoy
  • ASIN: B00006H6A6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,733 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Ralph on August 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I just purchased this set, thinking that I was getting the best available compilation of Bird's early work. But, two days after getting it in the mail (and loving it), I discovered that JSP has out a Charlie Parker box set titled "Studio Chronicle 1940-1948," also available here on Amazon, which by all appearances is a far superior purchase. For only $28, you get 5 full discs worth of material, including a wealth of early recordings not included here, as well as a number of recording sessions not led by Parker (notably those under Dizzy Gillespie's name). Apparently some of these rarer recordings are hard to find elsewhere. Everything included on the present set is on that set as well. All in all you get almost twice the number of tracks (125 to 65) for nearly half the price. And, from what I've read, the sound quality on that set is actually marginally better. So, check out the JSP so you don't have to kick yourself like I am right now!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Lockhart on November 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
About 25 years ago, I was just a kid of 19 in a funky record store in Carbondale, IL checking out the latest releases on vinyl of some of the usual suspects of that era. I barely had begun to broaden my tastes beyond rock, into folk, reggae, blues with a hint of jazz. The owner of this store, for a reason I can't remember now, told me I could pick out any lp in the house and take it home free. Like a kid in a candy store, I dashed about from bin to bin until a double lp of The Very Best of Bird (on Dial I later learned) jumped out at me. It was put out by WB and had some very informative liner notes by Ross Russell, the producer of some of his greatest works. Well, I won't surprise anyone by saying what a revelation this music was and still is. Now I have just purchased this 3-disc CD with not only the Dial but also the Savoy master takes. The sound is the best I've ever heard of these historic recordings (kudos to the CD remastering team) and the music, well, there are almost no words sufficient to do it justice. This man has to be in my top five of the all-time most influential American musicians and this music makes the case. Thanks to the folks responsible for packaging and rereleasing this miraculous body of work. Almost makes me want to invest in the complete studio sessions...maybe one day. Get this one in the meantime. Be astounded all over. Bird Lives Again!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John F. Temmerman on January 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've been a Charlie Parker fan, almost since I started playing the alto sax in high school in the early 70's.
Much of Parker's recorded work has been of substandard sound quality or released, then out of print. The Dial recordings, included here, were among those seminal recordings of Bird at his peak, but availability has been limited for years.
This recording puts together in one compilation a number of his best recordings: Cool Blues, Bird's Nest, Ornithology, Parker's Mood, and much, much more. The application of 21st century recording techniques results in a package of sound quality that enhances, rather than detracts from the music.
I recommend this to any fan of Bird, any fan of jazz and any saxophone player.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Blues Bro VINE VOICE on June 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
In a perfect world, this would be one of the 5 best selling jazz albums of all time. Why? Because Bird is one of the most influential and best jazz artist of all time and this collection includes every reason why. For a long time, it was a pain trying to collect these sides; and now, they all are in one place, with great sound in a nice package. It does not get any better than this, 50 years have passed and no one can touch Bird.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark VINE VOICE on January 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I picked this up because I only had 2 Charlie Parker CDs in my collection and I call myself a jazz lover. I had the Best of The Live Sessions on Savoy and an older Best of Bird on Verve. As something of a Miles Davis collector I felt I needed more in order to get the full Miles Davis perspective, so I picked this collection. Anyone who knows jazz knows that the really good stuff by Parker happened during the Savoy years between 1945 and 1948. The Complete Savoy Master Takes gives the collector everything Parker released as a leader plus a Miles Davis session and a Tiny Grimes session. I don't need to hear everything that Bird did so I didn't want to shell out the bucks to get every single note he laid down for Savoy. Again, this is all of the stuff that was picked by the artist and producer for release to his adoring public back in the day and that's plenty for me. If there is one disappointment it is that there are no sessions here that include Milt Jackson. I have Jackson playing with Parker on some Royal Roost recordings. Maybe Jackson never recorded in the studio under Bird's leadership? I dunno. Other than that, it's splendid!

This set is attractively packaged and comes with a nice booklet with the usual liner notes and pictures.

The 20bit remaster is superb but one word of warning, it's impossible to remove all of the crackles from some of this stuff that was pulled from 78rpm acetate. Just keep that in mind when listening.

Buy this if you don't want everything but want more than a "best of" collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Zabriskie on October 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There is probably no such thing as a "definitive" Charlie Parker
collection, without collecting EVERYTHING, but this comes awfully
close. These master takes of Bird's sessions as a leader for
the Savoy and Dial labels contain rich examples of his genius, and virtually every important title he did not record with Dizzy
Gillespie. Even before we get to the joys of "Billie's Bounce,"
"Warming Up a Riff," "Now's the Time," and "Ko-ko," we are treated to Bird's mastery on "Romance Without Finance." Besides
being one of the most politically INCORRECT songs ever recorded,
"Romance Without Finance" provides an excellent example of Parker's ability to rein in his prodigious abilities in the service of the song. Beyond that, everything here is just pure, unbridled inventive genius! The amazing thing about Bird's
playing is the way every phrase is a complete, perfect, self-contained musical idea, unique and independent to itself. Then,
suddenly in the last four bars of his solo, Bird comes up with something that makes all of it cohere, magically, brilliantly
and LOGICALLY. There's plenty of that kind of playing going on
throughout this entire collection!
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The Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes
This item: The Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes
Price: $36.06
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