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  • The Complete Verve Master Takes [3 CD Box Set]
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The Complete Verve Master Takes [3 CD Box Set] Box set

10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, October 21, 2003
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$79.95 $49.99

Editorial Reviews

There's nothing fancy about this release except the saxophone playing-on these 3 CDs you'll find all 72 studio master takes Bird recorded for Verve from 1949 to 1954. It's all here, from his first Verve side, The Bird , to his last side, I Love Paris .

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 21, 2003)
  • 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: Verve
  • ASIN: B0000ARNDA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,525 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 114 people found the following review helpful By satisfraktion on August 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
For those new to Charlie Parker, his output roughly can be summarized by two collections (not taking into account the rarer sessions of his early years or the recordings made under Dizzy Gillespie's name): the sides he recorded for the Dial and Savoy labels between 1944 and 1948, and the sides he recorded for Verve (Mercury/Norgran/Clef) from 1948 until his death. So you can get an excellent Bird retrospective by purchasing a "Savoy and Dial" box set and a "Verve" box set. Until this collection came along, many people bought the $150 "Complete Bird on Verve." It contains alternate takes, live recordings, and 5 or 6 tracks not under his leadership. I wouldn't recommend that set to anyone but ardent ornithologists. You probably don't want to listen to 11 takes of "Leap Frog." You'll have to decide if the live and "non-leader" tracks are worth the extra $100.

With this set, you get all the master takes of the studio recordings in a very handsome package. It comes in a tin case and a 70+ page booklet. It covers the bebop recordings he did with Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, with Miles Davis, with Kenny Dorham, and with Red Rodney, among others. Also here are the famous "Charlie Parker with Strings" sessions, latin-flavored sides, and the big band sessions (including some with the great Gil Evans).

Many people argue that the Verve years were too controlled by producer Norman Granz, who cultivated a kinder, gentler Bird, in comparison to the rawer, bluesier, more energetic classic bebop recordings on Savoy and Dial. While I also prefer those earlier sessions, I cannot find any fault with the Verve sides. Different? Yes. Inferior? No. C'mon, this is Bird we're talking about! These recordings are teeming with magic (take a listen to "Just Friends" for proof).
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Don't get me wrong -- the music is fantastic and the sound is terrific. I am happy to have purchased it in this form.
BUT, this assuredly is NOT the complete studio master takes of Parker's Verve/Clef material:
Missing are:
(1) Repetition, from the same day as "The Bird"
(2) A few Latin-flavored sides from late 1948 and early 1949: No Noise; Mango Mangue; Okiedoke
(3) Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite
(4) Two songs from a 1950 session with Coleman Hawkins -- Celebrity (Celerity) and Ballade.
Items (2) and (4) are on Parker's "South of the Border: Verve Latin Jazz Sides".
I guess they must have REALLY wanted to squeeze it on three CDs.
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Format: Audio CD
... purchase the single CD Charlie Parker releases: "Swedish Schnapps"; "Bird and Diz"; "Charlie Parker With Strings" and "Charlie Parker" (album title), and you will have all his good Verve recordings.

That was the short version of my review.

~~~

Here's the reason for my recommendation:

If you're interested in completing your collection of all his Verve recordings in single CD releases, while avoiding duplications, I would like to help you to find your way through the labyrinth of CDs of his music that Verve released, often mixing up the contents of the original LPs.

First of all, buying this collection of the so-called (the aren't) Complete Verve Master Takes is likely the cheapest way to get all the songs you don't have yet, even if you already own previous single CDs.

However, the takes in this collection are presented in chronological order of the recording sessions, which means that the themes of the music greatly vary, and you here some songs from one album, then some from another album, then back to the previous album, etc. I prefer to listen to one original album at one time, maybe a collection of songs with his quintet, or listen to another album, with strings, but not everything mixed together. Of course you may like that.

Also, I really love the original album covers of his individually released Verve albums, and since I already own several single CD releases of Charlie Parker's music on Verve, I was reluctant to buy this newly released "Charlie Parker - the Verve Master Takes" to complete my collection, especially since, in my opinion, the cover is truly horrible; Charlie Parker is depicted as a sort of gorilla, with his face scratched out and a red ribbon across his chest.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The remastering on this set is outstanding.Bird was know for such things as his dexterity, speed, expanding the blues, etc. But with the great sound of these cds, you can hear Charlie Parker's beautiful tone with combos, strings, etc.The acoustic bass which is driving the rhythm can be felt and so can the "bombs" from the drummers. Desert island disc-when you can sing along with these solos you begin to appreciate this great artist.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Byrnes on November 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The audio quality of this box set alone is worth the price. It sounds AMAZING. Verve did an excellent job with this box set; the players are the best of the best (no surprise there, you gotta be good to play with Bird), and it features some of Charlie's best tunes (Now's the Time, Confirmation, Laird Bird, Bloomdido, Au Privave, Swedish Schnapps). Seriously though, the clarity of this recording is amazing.
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