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Best of The Complete Savoy & Dial Studio Recordings Original recording reissued

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, April 26, 2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 26, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Savoy
  • ASIN: B000067FUO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,418 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Giuseppe C. HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This "Best Of" collection may just be the ticket for all of those Bird fans who were upset by the slip-shod packaging of "The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings." These are unquestionably the recordings upon which the Charlie Parker genius and musical legacy must primarily rest, and the listener will not have to wade through dozens of alternate takes and false starts to discover the real Bird. The sound mastering, while distorted on a few tracks (the price of introducing more "presence" into the alto saxophone's sound), is the best I've encountered--in fact, the CD definitely eclipses the Ken Burns' single-disc compilation in terms of audio quality as well as song selection. My disappointment at the omission of "Donna Lee" is compensated for by the inclusion of both "Embraceable You" (the celebrated version) and "Night in Tunisia" (but not the concert version with Diz containing the famous 4-bar break).

Unlike some collectors, I find the fold-out cardboard container, with large-scale photos and ample notes, preferable to another broken plastic jewel case.

One caveat: Producer Orrin Keepnews' notes are written neither for the neophyte nor this single-disc down-sized edition. Aside from factual matters such as dates and personnel, they're pretty useless. The music, on the other hand (even as I'm now listening to Bird's bracing and brilliant playing), is simply priceless.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you are interested in exploring Bird but are put off by the innumerable collections and packages, this might be the one for you. Most of the recordings are good quality or better, you get a flavor of CP's playing across forms that might surprise you, and the album has several gems that you'll want to listen to repeatedly. Culling a career, even a short one, into one meaningful disk is a thankless task but I feel Keepnews, who made this selection from his larger boxed set, has done a great job. If you start here, you may not stop, it's that good and it will let you appreciate why so many people keep pointing back to this player as a true musical giant.
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If you are a "Bird" fan this album is a must. It contains his best early works; especially his recordings on the"Dial' label.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
While 'best' is subjective I would have to agree that the tracks on this album fit the promise in the context of the Dial and Savory recordings. There are some of my personal favorites that are not among this collection, but if I had to select based on recording quality, musicality and showcasing Bird's talent I would have probably selected the same tracks that are included here. Plus, you are not subjected to alternate take after alternate take. Not that a more complete set is bad for we jazz geeks, but this is like the Cliff Notes version of Bird's Dial and Savor years.

Run through the sound samples in this page (I am reviewing the MP3 album) for a taste of the music and sound quality. To my ears the music is excellent and the sound quality better than one would expect from mid-to-late 40s recordings.

Here are the sources for all of the tracks:
Track 1 was recorded for Savoy at WOR Studios in NYC on September 15, 1944 and is credited as the Tiny Grimes Quintette. Bird's alto sax is backed by Clyde Hart on piano, Tiny Grimes on guitar and vocals, Jimmy Butts on bass and vocals, and Doc West on drums.

Track 2 was recorded for Savoy at WOR Studios in NYC on November 26, 1945 and is credited as Charlie Parker's Reboppers. Bird is accompanied by Dizzy Gillespie on piano and trumpet, Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach on drums.

Tracks 3 through 6 were recorded for Dial at Radio Recorders in Los Angeles on March 28, 1946. Bird is accompanied by Miles Davis on trumpet and Lucky Thompson on tenor sax, and backed by Dodo Marmarosa on piano, Arvin Garrison on guitar, Vic McMillan on bass and Roy Porter on drums.

Track 7 was recorded for Dial at C.P. MacGregor Studios in Los Angeles on February 19, 1947 and credited as the Charlie Parker Quartet.
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There are a number of bebop classics on these two discs, and other work that is historically interesting, but that don't appeal to me as much. The bebop classics are great, and the recording quality is acceptable. I understand that many of these recordings, although made in the studio, were of lower technical quality.
There are some pieces that bother me - that feel like white producers trying to make bebop music appeal more strongly to a white audience. This results in some strange juxtapositions of white big band sounding choirs followed up with Parker's solos. The solos are very good, and of course the music industry has not changed much, doing all it can to reach the widest market. It still feels exploitive to me. Bebop was consciously avant-garde, and as the music moved away from what the public could dance to the audience would soon desert it for rock and roll.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are just starting to become familiar with Charlie Parker, the most influential jazz saxophonists of all time, this is a great place to start. All the classics are here. After this you naturally want more but, this is ground zero for a reasonable price.
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