Charlie Parker – The Complete Verve Master Takes (2003)

Charlie Parker - The Complete Verve Master Takes (2003)
Artist: Charlie Parker
Album: The Complete Verve Master Takes
Label: Verve
Year Of Release: 2003
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)

Tracklist:
CD 1:
01. The Bird 4:41
02. Cardboard 3:08
03. Visa 2:58
04. Segment 3:19
05. Passport 2:54
06. Passport 2:59
07. Just Frinds 3:30
08. Evrything Happens to Me 3:15
09. April in Paris 3:06
10. Summertime 2:46
11. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was 3:12
12. If I Should Lose You 2:46
13. Star Eyes 3:28
14. Blues (Fast) 2:45
15. I’m In The Mood For Love 2:50
16. Bloomdido 3:24
17. An Oscar For Treadwell 3:22
18. Mohawk 3:24
19. My Melancholy Baby 3:23
20. Leap Frog 2:29
21. Relaxin’ With Lee 2:46
22. Dansing In The Dark 3:19
23. Out Of Nowhere 3:06
24. Laura 2:56

CD 2:
01. East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon) 3:38
02. They Can’t Take That Away From Me 3:17
03. Easy To Love 3:25
04. I’m In The Mood For Love 3:33
05. I’ll Remember April 3:02
06. Au Privave 2:43
07. She Rote 3:06
08. K.C. Blues 3:24
09. Star Eyes 3:34
10. My Little Suede Shoes 3:03
11. Un Poquito De Tu Amor 2:40
12. Tico-Tico (aka “Tico-Tico No Fuba”) 2:44
13. Fiesta 2:49
14. Why Do I Love You? 3:05
15. Blues For Alice 2:46
16. Si Si 2:38
17. Swedish Schnapps 3:10
18. Back Home Blues 2:46
19. Loverman 3:21
20. Temptation 3:31
21. Lover 3:06
22. Autumn In New York 3:29
23. Stella By Starlight 2:56
24. Mama Inez 2:50
25. La Cucuracha 2:43

CD 3:
01. Estrellita 2:44
02. Begin The Beguine 3:12
03. La Paloma 2:39
04. Night And Day 2:50
05. Almost Like Being In Love 2:33
06. I Can’t Get Started 3:08
07. What Is This Thing Called Love? 2:36
08. The Song Is You 2:56
09. Laird Baird 2:44
10. Kim 2:58
11. Cosmic Rays 3:05
12. In The Still Of The Night 3:22
13. Old Folks 3:34
14. If I Love Again 2:25
15. Chi-Chi 3:02
16. I Remember You 3:03
17. Now’s The Time 3:01
18. Confirmation 2:58
19. I Get A Kick Out Of You 3:34
20. Just One Of Those Things 2:40
21. My Heart Belongs To Daddy 3:18
22. I’ve Got You Under My Skin 3:32
23. Love For Sale 5:35
24. I Love Paris 5:07

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While it is a great thing to have all of the Charlie Parker master takes of his Verve period on one disc, including a complete duplication of Complete Verve Masters with Strings, which was issued a year earlier, it seems more than excessive and more and more like Universal’s stock motive: to get the loyal listener to buy the same product over and over again. While those who oversee these projects can claim “historical accuracy” as a motive, it will stink of false rhetoric. First, the argument that the “with strings” sessions should have been given an entire disc apart from everything else is in a way bogus, as they were part of a seminal continuum that charted Parker’s development and decline. They should never have been separated out in the first place. But completists no doubt bought them, and now are expected to buy them again just to get a “true” historical package. This is simply cynical marketing by Universal. Not considering the 24 “with strings” performances, there are 50 other master takes here produced by Norman Granz, ranging from a 1947 Carnegie Hall date to Parker’s last in 1954. Many of the cuts here come from 1950-1952. Half of the 1949 sessions are string dates; the rest come from sessions with Kenny Dorham, Tommy Turk, Al Haig, Tommy Potter, and Carlos Vidal. The most rewarding performances here are a reunion of sorts with Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, along with Curly Russell and Buddy Rich, from April 1950. These tracks are nearly seminal versions of “Mohawk,” “Leapfrog,” and “Relaxin’ with Lee,” along with fine reads of “Bloomdido,” “An Oscar for Treadwell,” and “My Melancholy Baby.” Four other cuts come from a brief reunion with Miles Davis and Max Roach in January of 1951 with Teddy Kotick and Walter Bishop, Jr. rounding out the band and include smokingly hot versions of “Au Privave,” “She Rote,” and “K.C Blues.” Other musicians who appear here are Oscar Peterson, Red Rodney, Kenny Clarke, John Lewis, and Billy Bauer, among dozens of others. The package is beautiful in a decorated, painted silver metal box that the CDs fold out of, but the booklet — like Universal’s Joni Mitchell set — falls apart because of bogus stitching. In all, this would have worked a lot better as a double set to respect those who were righteous enough to buy the strings disc. But since when do record companies respect consumers? ~Thom Jurek

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