The Magnificent Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker • LP


“The Magnificent Charlie Parker” was originally released in the mid-50’s on the Clef label and it contains much of Clef’s Parker singles from 1951 when Bird was playing at his best. It’s a wonderful collection of singles all arranged in logical succession with no weird volume or sound quality leaps as you go track to track. Those who are familiar with some Parker CD collections will know what I mean by incongruent track succession.

Side one opens with four tracks that feature a young Miles Davis on trumpet, as well as Max Roach on drums. Miles’ playing at that time was very clean and precise, revealing the influence of Clifford Brown, as well as Miles’ classical background. All of these tracks are great, with “She Rote” being the ultimate in bebop styled abstraction and modernity. The last two cuts on this side are exotica pop numbers with a vocal choir and small orchestra arrangement by Gil Evans. Side two features Red Rodney on trumpet, possibly Parker’s most cohesive and inspiring sideman outside of Dizzy Gillespie. This group also features a young John Lewis on piano before he became known as a purveyor of third stream chamber jazz.

Every track on here is excellent and it’s nice that the song choices lean away from show tunes and more towards bebop originals that really bring out the witty, urban flavor of one of jazz’s most creative eras. Brand new copy, on gorgeous yellow vinyl!


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Coloured vinyl

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1951 – 1955

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