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Boss Bird (4CD) Box set


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Biography

Alto saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker (1920–1955), arguably the greatest of all jazz soloists, one of the founders of bebop, was born in Kansas City, and it was there that he began his musical career. In his teens he played locally with the bands of Lawrence "88" Keyes, George E. Lee, Harlan Leonard, and Jay McShann. His major influences at that time were altoist ... Read more in Amazon's Charlie Parker Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 July 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Delko Music Ltd
  • ASIN: B000069DWX
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,353 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Tiny's Tempo
2. I'll Always Love You Just The Same
3. Romance Without Finance
4. Red Cross
5. Billie's Bounce
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Donna Lee
2. Chasin' The Bird
3. Cheryl
4. Buzzy
5. Dexterity
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Barbados
2. Ah-Leu-Cha
3. Constellation
4. Parker's Mood
5. Perhaps
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Blues (Fast)
2. I'm In The Mood For Love
3. Dancing In The Dark
4. Out Of Nowhere
5. Laura
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Most of Charlie Parker's studio recordings from 1944-1951 for the Savoy, Dial and Verve labels are featured in this box, making it one of the most comprehensive collections of Parker's work ever assembled, encapsulating the essence of Bird's art. Just some of the cast include Erroll Garner, Barney Kessel, Miles Davis, Max Roach, Machito, Buddy Rich and Hank Jones. Charlie Parker died March 21st 1955, making 2005 the 50th anniversary of his death, already there has been an 8 page spread in the March edition of Jazzwise featuring a recommended recordings section headed by PROPERBOX 46 "This is the place to start". Expect further extensive media coverage of this iconic, revolutionary artist, whose timeless artistry is still relevant today.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Hore on 5 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
Apart from a few one-offs, Charlie Parker recorded for just three labels - Dial, Savoy and Verve. This box set brings together all the Dial and Savoy master tracks, and most of the Verves (all the best ones, though). What you get, for less than the price of many single CDs, is basically the complete studio recordings - an essential part of jazz history. Parker's legacy casts such a long shadow over the last fifty years of jazz that it's hard to grasp just how revolutionary this music was at the time. From the shocking originality of 'Koko' on Disc 1 through to the experiments with Latin music and strings on Disc 4, this set details how Parker remade the jazz tradition.
Even if you've already got all of these tracks on the individual labels, complete with every rejected take and false start, this set is worth having just to hear Parker's seamless brilliance without the interruptions and the studio chat. And it's the ideal present for someone who likes Parker but doesn't know what to buy. Disc 2, the 1947 Savoy tracks with Miles Davis, is probably the one you'll play most often - Parker at his sustained, commanding best - but all the other discs have much to recommend them. As with most of the Properbox sets, the remastering is excellent.
The coming of CDs has meant that more of Parker's music is available than ever before, but the choice can be bewildering. If you want to enjoy the greatness of Charlie Parker, this is the place to start. And what we need next is a similar collection of the great live recordings...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Yim on 17 Feb. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is easily the best Charlie Parker collection I have come across that attempts to span his whole career. The corresponding set for Dizzy Gillespie is also excellent, and contains some of the recordings that Diz and Bird made together (which this set avoids). The two together make for a great introduction to bebop at a pretty good price.

The cast of supporting musicians on this set is impressive and includes Miles Davis, Max Roach, Errol Garner, Buddy Rich, Bud Powell and Machito. The music, ranging from the small-group sides for Dial & Savoy, to the Bird-with-strings and Afro-Cuban sides for Verve, is all excellent.

To answer the query of another reviewer - Anthropology is included, but under the name 'Thriving On A Riff'. That was the name given to the original recording of the piece. It seems to have been rechristened shortly afterwards, as Diz's studio recording of the same piece a month or so later is titled 'Anthropology'.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Nov. 2005
Format: Audio CD
This set of CD's is an absolute bargain. for under £10.00 you get a large proportion of Parker's output and the quality of the recordings is first class. I would definitely recommend this set.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 11 Aug. 2005
Format: Audio CD
I've had a real Amazon blitz with this. I bought this box set on Amazon, then the E flat Charlie Parker Omnibook on Amazon-when it was 3 quid haha-and try to play along on an ebay sax. After about 2567 years, I'm still rubbish and Charlie is still wonderful. A great collection at a wonderful price, though why isn't Anthropology on it? Hm. Buy it, you'll never regret it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
This is the one ... 22 Aug. 2002
By Greg Kesich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This has almost all of Bird's studio work on four CDs without any hard-to-hear live recordings or annoying partial takes. With masters from Savoy, Dial and Verve, it covers more ground than either the Rino collection or the Savoy and Dial box, which has 8 discs and costs five times as much. It doesn't have every tune you can imagine, for instance with 101 tracks there wasn't room for one version of Confirmation. And there are times when it would be nice to listen to Bird puzzle his way through all the takes of Parker's Mood. But this box gives you four great CDs that each play over 70 minutes and showcase a stage in the career of the greatest improvisor in modern jazz. Even if you own the other collections, this one is worth buying. This is the Parker set I will listen too again and again, and I'm so happy it has finally been put together in this form. The book is weak -- full of trivia and short in insight -- but at this price I won't complain (any further.)
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The best for much less 15 Aug. 2002
By Dana Stuart Cole - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the finest overall collection now available (and at a great price). The best years of this genius' work are here with outstanding selections from Dial, Savoy and Verve. Bird flies in all his glory here. A good text accompanies the 4 discs. No way to top this box set for the quality, range and price.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Great Box! 21 Feb. 2007
By Swing King - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Proper Records has drawn together an impressive array of tracks from most of Parker's studio recordings from 1944 to 1951, when Bird was working for the Savoy, Dial and Verve labels. This set contains a 48 page illustrated booklet with information on the present recordings, as well as generous biographical material. Each disc comes packaged in an individual cardboard sleeve, nestled in the box with the booklet. The sound quality is sufficient while the material is extensive, making this a great boxed set at a great price.

DISC ONE

TRACKS 1 to 4: "The Grimes Quintette" recorded on September 15, 1944 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto saxophone), Clyde Hart (piano), Tiny Grimes (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Butts (bass, vocals), and Harold "Doc" West (drums).

TRACKS 5 to 9: "Charlie Parker's Reboppers" recorded on November 26, 1945 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet, piano), Argonne Thornton (piano), Curley Russell (bass) and Max Roach (drums).

TRACKS 10 to 13: "Charlie Parker Septet" recorded on March 28, 1946 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), Lucky Thompson (tenor sax), Dodo Marmarosa (piano), Arvin Garrison (guitar), Vic McMillan (bass) and Roy Porter (drums).

TRACKS 14 to 17: "Charlie Parker Quartet" recorded on July 29, 1946 date with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Howard McGhee (trumpet), Jimmy Bunn (piano), Bob Kesterton (bass) and Roy Porter (drums).

TRACKS 18 to 22: "Charlie Parker Quartet" recorded on February 19, 1947 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Erroll Garner (piano), Red Callender (bass), Harold "Doc" West (drums), Earl Coleman (vocals).

TRACKS 23 to 26: "Charlie Parker's New Stars" recorded on February 26, 1947 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Howard McGhee (trumpet), Wardell Gray (tenor sax), Dodo Marmarosa (piano), Barney Kessel (guitar), Red Callender (bass) and Don Lamond (drums).

DISC TWO

TRACKS 1 to 4: "Charlie Parker's All Stars" recorded on May 8, 1947 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), Bud Powell (piano), Tommy Potter (bass) and Max Roach (drums).

TRACKS 5 to 10: "Charlie Parker Quintet" recorded on October 28, 1947 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Duke Jordan (piano), Tommy Potter (bass) and Max Roach (drums).

TRACKS 11 to 16: "Charlie Parker Quintet" recorded on November 4, 1947 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), Duke Jordan (piano), Tommy Potter (bass) and Max Roach (drums).

TRACKS 17 to 22: "Charlie Parker Sextet" recorded on December 17, 1947 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Jay Jay Johnson (trombone), Miles Davis (trumpet), Duke Jordan (piano), Tommy Potter (bass) and Max Roach (drums).

TRACKS 23 to 26: "Charlie Parker's All Stars" recorded on December 21, 1947 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), Duke Jordan (piano), Tommy Potter (bass) and Max Roach (drums).

DISC THREE

TRACKS 1 to 3: "Charlie Parker's All Stars" recorded on September 18, 1948 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), John Lewis (piano), Curley Russell (bass) and Max Roach (drums). TRACK 4: Miles Davis sits out for this one, same session.

TRACKS 5 to 8: "Charlie Parker's All Stars" recorded on September 24, 1948 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), John Lewis (piano), Curley Russell (bass) and Max Roach (drums).

TRACK 9: "Charlie Parker Quartet" recorded on December 1 and 2, 1948 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Hank Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass) and Shelly Manne (drums).

TRACK 10: "Charlie Parker with Neal Hefti Orchestra" recorded on December 1 and 2, 1948 with the following musicians: Charlie Parker - Murray Williams - Sonny Salad (alto sax), Al Porcino - Doug Mettome - Ray Wetzel (trumpets), Bill Harris (trombone), Bart Varsalona (bass trombone), Vinnie Jacobs (French horn), John La Porta (clarinet), Pete Mondello - Flip Phillips (tenor sax), Manny Albam (baritone sax), Gene Orloff (concert master), Sam Caplan - Manny Fidler - Sid Harris - Harry Katzman - Zelly Smirnoff (violin), Nat Nathanson - Fred Ruzilla (viola), Joe Benaventi (cello), Tony Aless (piano), Curley Russell (bass), Shelly Manne (drums), Diego Iborra (percussion) and Neal Hefti (arranger and conductor).

TRACKS 11 to 14: "Charlie Parker with Machito and His Orchestra" recorded on December 20, 1948 with the following personnel: "Charlie Parker (alto sax), Mario Bauza - Paquito Cavilla - Bob Woodlen (trumpets), Gene Johnson - Freddie Skerritt (alto sax), Jose Madera - Flip Phillips (tenor sax), Leslie Johnakins (baritone sax), Rene Hernandez (piano), Roberto Rodriguez (bass), Jose Manguel (bongos), Luis Miranda (conga), Umbaldo Nieto (timbales), and Machito (maracas).

TRACKS 15 and 19: "Charlie Parker and His Orchestra" recorded in March of 1949 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Renny Dorham (trumpet), Tommy Turk (trombone), Al Haig (piano), Tommy Potter (bass), Max Roach (drums) and Carlos Vidal (conga).

TRACKS 20 to 25: "Charlie Parker with Strings" recorded November 30, 1949 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Mitch Miller (oboe, maybe English horn), Bronislaw Gimpel - Max Hollander - Milt Lomask (violin), Frank Brieff (viola), Frank Miller (cello), Myor Rosen (harp), Stan Freeman (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Buddy Rich (drums) and Jimmy Carroll (arranger and conductor).

TRACK 26: "Charlie Parker Quartet" recorded in March or April of 1950 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Hank Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass) and Buddy Rich (drums).

DISC FOUR

TRACKS 1 and 2 are the same as the ending personnel on DISC THREE.

TRACKS 2 to 10: "Charlie Parker with Strings" recorded in the summer of 1950 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Joseph Singer ( French horn), Eddie Brown (oboe), Sam Caplan (violin, concert master), Howard Kay - Harry Melnikoff - Sam Rand - Zelly Smirnoff (violin), Isadore Zir (viola), Maurice Brown (cello), Verley Mills (harp), Bernie Leighton (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Buddy Rich (drums) and Joe Lipman (arranger and conductor).

TRACKS 11 to 14: "Charlie Parker and His Orchestra" recorded on January 17, 1951 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Miles Davis (trumpet), Walter Bishop (piano), Teddy Kotick (bass) and Max Roach (drums).

TRACKS 15 to 19: "Charlie Parker's Jazzers" recorded on March 12, 1951 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Walter Bishop (piano), Teddy Kotick (bass), Roy Haynes (drums), Luis Miranda (conga) and Jose Manguel (bongo).

TRACKS 20 to 24: "Charlie Parker Quintet" recorded on August 8, 1951 with the following personnel: Charlie Parker (alto sax), Red Rodney (trumpet), John Lewis (piano), Ray Brown (bass) and Kenny Clarke (drums).
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Grey market product with flat sound 5 Jan. 2008
By Salo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I got this for xmas, based on all the positive words I was very excited. Of course Charlie Parker's music itself here is beyond reproach, no problem there; he is amazing! However, I found the sound quality to be very disappointing. I don't mean it's bad because it's old, that's expected. However, the sound here is muffled and has no presence or life. There is also no surface noise which makes it clear that some sort of noise reduction and/or other extreme manipulations have been done to the sound. It really is dull and even grating to listen to.

I dug out my 'Yardbird Suite: Ultimate Charlie Parker' two disc set from Rhino and compared some of the songs (such as Parker's Mood) that were the same versions and, (while the latter set could be better as well as it's a bit distorted) there is a presence and, yes, certain amount of noise and 'breath' in the high end frequencies that really made a huge difference, especially in the saxophone tone itself.

Upon researching this I found some posts on audio forums that indicated that this label (Proper) takes advantage of European copyright laws and these aren't really legitimate releases in the US. Apparently they don't get the audio from the source at all and just rip off the mastering of others, process it further, removing noise as well as the high end frequencies, and sell it cheap. A side effect of destroying the audio is probably that it also conveniently is now a 'different' mastering rather than the same as the one they ripped it off from.

If you just want to get exposed to some AMAZING music for cheap then I suppose you could do a lot worse, but I am going to sell or give this set as a gift and find something better for myself.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The best for much less 15 Aug. 2002
By Dana Stuart Cole - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the finest overall collection now available (and at a great price). The best years of this genius' work are here with outstanding selections from Dial, Savoy and Verve. Bird flies in all his glory here. A good text accompanies the 4 discs. No way to top this box set for the quality, range and price.
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