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on 30 April 2010
It is hard to believe that there is not a review of this excellent box already here. I guess if you are looking at this item you probably don't need to be told how important Charlie Parker is. So what I will say instead, is that this is an excellent collection of his studio recordings. Some collections are more complete, but this is the best overview of his studio work. It contains (I think) everything you get on the Dial and Savoy master takes compilations, but the remastering sounds better on this collection to my ear. It is also a fraction of the price. You also get, on the first two discs, some early recordings with Bird as sideman in various groups, including on disc 2 many recordings of Dizzy Gillespie led groups.

Like I said, this set is not a complete set of recordings, but is the best selection available, and the omissions are not anything to lose sleep over.

Very happy.
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on 12 May 2010
What can you say about Charlie Parker? There was no other sax player like Bird & once you've heard him for a while, it's harder to listen to anyone else blow. Too many amazing tracks to pick clear winners but I've a soft spot for his '47 session on tenor (not his usual alto) with Miles Davis, sounding like a perfect blend of bop & the soon-to-be-born cool. Charlie's cuts were often issued long after recording so this great box covers about 60 singles & 5 LP's up to 1950. If you're new to his playing, look no further.
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I smile to myself as I find it somewhat ironic that in order to experience something "new", I have purchased some of the oldest recorded music that I have!

Whilst I have purchased music including much jazz for over 4 decades, I have rarely gone back to recordings made before my childhood, with early blues being the few exceptions. However, my interest in Charlie has really been aroused by watching a series on the history of jazz, a series of audio lectures my brother-in-law gave me (Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks To Fusion), and finally the Clint Eastwood directed film Bird - The Charlie Parker Story [DVD].

So what have we got here - a bit of a treasure trove in many ways I should say. However, do not expect modern day fidelity as these are old and some tracks have been taken of scratchy 78s, but if you have a genuine interest in modern jazz and its evolution, then there is much to enjoy here. You are provided with the location, date and personnel for each separate group of recordings and of course there are so many well known names that come and go such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Max Roach, Miles Davis, Erroll Garner. Parker's playing at it's best was so fluid and appeared to be effortless.

To me Coltrane will always be THE MAN when it comes to the sax, however it is always worth remembering that some of the biggest giants are so huge because they're already standing on the shoulders of other giants, and Parker surely was a giant. I would imagine that anyone playing the sax in the 50s would have had Parker as some sort of influence or bench mark.

Whilst there are some tracks in this box I know I will skip, I have playing at the moment "Yardbird Suite" on CD 3 and to this old (Dead)head, it sure sounds sweet.

The package is a slipcase with 5 jewel cases inside. Each CD has information relating to the music contained within. For such a cheap box set, I've got no complaints.
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on 9 February 2015
Definitely 5 Star music and well-remastered too.
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...and it is the Universal box,Complete Masters.Yes,the sound on these sides from JSP WAS the best available,but I submit NOT NOW.The 13cd box has improved to a state of near perfection these classic recordings,and not only do you get the material contained here,but the Verve and live cuts too.Owning both,I cannot recommend the larger set too highly,and would urge all you Bird devotees out there to get that,it is a limited edition,so speed would be advisable,I should think.
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