I recommend that you buy "Charlie Parker With Strings - The Master Takes" instead of this. The only good, inspired songs of the "Big Band" album are also in the CD "Charlie Parker With Strings" which is of much more consistantly high quaility, has many other wonderful performances that are not on the "Big Band" CD. The "Charlie Parker With Strings - The Master Takes" CD is 75 minutes long, a great value. It also has the famous "Repetition", which is not on the Big Band album, nor the Charlie Parker Verve Master Takes collection.
In an effort to collect all of Charlie Parker's Verve recordings, I initially intended to purchase this "Big Band" CD, until I sampled the songs and recognized all the duplications from the earlier release. Additionally, on the "Big Band" you get some truly bad songs - I'm very sad for Charlie Parker that he did them (I don't know the circumstances). "I can't get started" is still passable, Charlie is drowned in some shrill big band orchestra (well, you expected that, going by the album title). But the three songs "In the still of the night", "Old Folks" and "If I love again" are truly atrocious and terribly dated, sung by an amateurish "choir" that has no musical merit whatsoever, and Charlie Parker is bogged down in this thick moasses which totally muffles his playing and invention. I never, ever want to hear these three songs again, the only dated recording Bird ever did. The Verve website gives you pretty long samples. I recommend you sample these three songs before you purchase this. In the other songs from "Big Band", Charlie Parker has to literally FIGHT a huge aggressive, brassy orchestra.
The "Charlie Parker With Strings" album is a wonderful release. It contains both 10" LPs of Charlie Parker With Strings Vol. 1 (Charlie Parker's favorite of his recordings) and Vol. 2, and many more songs. The whole CD package is designed beautifully, the cover by David Stone Martin is striking . Beneath the clear jewel case base is a wonderful photo of Bird and his players, and a great booklet. I've had this CD ever since it came out in 1995, and never stopped playing it.