Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Plays Standards Verve Jazz Masters 28
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Charlie Parker Plays Standards So Splendidly
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 06/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The superb quality and diversity of the music on this CD make for great listening, especially when the consistent excellence of Parker's work is considered. One could pick ten or twelve or fourteen performances at random from his Verve output and put together an anthology that almost certainly would be splendid. Give this all the stars you've got, too." ~ Harvey Pekar ~
Released in 1994, "Charlie Parker Plays Standards" is a collection of Charlie Parker's original recordings between 1946 and 1954 produced by Norman Granz under Verve Records. It is one of the series of Verve's Jazz Masters. These recordings are also available on the ten-CD-set, Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve.
Charlie Parker was a jazz icon and one of the most recognizable names in the world of jazz. Affectionately called "Bird" by his fellow musicians, he was one of the most-admired saxophonists not only in his time, but for all-time for his outstanding mastery of his instrument. The most famous jazz joint in New York, Birdland, is of course, named after him.
While I'm so charmed by the renditions of Cole Porter's "Easy To Love" and "I Love Paris," Victor Schertzinger's "I Remember You," Jerome Kern's "Why Do I Love You?" and George Gershwin's "Embraceable You," I'm doubly delighted with an alternate take on Manuel Ponce's "Estrellita." I love its alluring Latin beat where Bird plays with Max Roach (drums), Benny Harris (trumpet), Walter Bishop, Jr. (piano), Teddy Kotick (bass), Jose Mangual (bongos) and Luis Miranda (conga). This is one of the best Charlie Parker tunes ever recorded in the history of instrumental jazz. My only concern is that it's too short a track...I have to replay it over and over to savor its beauty. David Raksin's "Laura" has the most nostalgic sound of all. The enchanting arrangement was charted by Joe Lipman and features his orchestra with strings section. This is one of the tracks that Parker truly shows off to the fullest what he can do with his favorite instrument.
The inimitable First Lady of Song lends radiance to this compilation with her remarkable interpretation of "How High The Moon" showcasing her vocal prowess and scatting flair. This is one of the liveliest tracks where Ella and Bird are joined by some of the finest jazz greats such as Lester Young and Flip Phillips (tenor sax), Hank Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Buddy Rich (drums), Roy Eldridge (trumpet) and Tommy Turk (trombone).
Although I haven't really explored Parker's discography yet and this is my first exposure to his artistry, in my humble opinion, I believe this is just the right CD to own for a start. It will not disappoint - it will bring nostalgic charms to your listening experience. The sound quality is great and if you're the type of jazz lover who enjoys extended plays and a lot of improvisations, this is a perfect listen.
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | 05/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some jazz "purists" would argue that the idea that Charlie Parker would ever play popular standards is tantamount to selling out. I would suggest otherwise. "Bird" added the same new, creative dimension to his recordings of standards as he did with anything else. Furthermore, in doing so, he introduced his music to a group which heretofore had never heard it and may have never unless they could hear some tunes that they actually had heard of. My only complaint about this CD is that most of the standards heard here are not the most well known of all time. But that isn't terribly important."