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on 23 August 2011
I felt I had to write this review for those thinking of buying this CD and having only the above review entitled "wingless" available to help them come to a decision. "Wingless" couldn't be further from the truth. The first five songs on the album, and the last one, are vintage Parker in full flight. It is the other songs that give you a glimpse of his last years when he was plagued by problems like the death of his daughter and the toll taken by his drug addiction. But even these are worth listening carefully to because they show that even on what were clearly bad days, Parker's inventiveness and rhythmical agility were never very far from his playing. If for nothing else, this CD is worth getting for the first five tracks with the likes of Night and Day and In The Still of the Night which are hard to find elsewhere and where Parker's solos are peerless. Highly recommended whether you're a die hard fan or not.
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on 3 February 2002
(Written from memory, I don't have the LP version to hand)
These versions of Cole Porter's classics, recorded late in Parker's life, when he was more than a little played out, do not represent the best of Bird's recorded work. They lack the inventiveness of Bird at his peak, when his intricate harmonal brillance and the verve of his playing, simply took the breath away.
They do however stand as listenable, and inventive, without being outstanding. Good, rather than amazing.
If you're a diehard fan these may well be essential, but for newcomers to Parker, there are other earlier late 40s and early 50s seminal sessions on Dial, Savoy and Verve, that are requisite listening.
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