Depending on your view, the period that Charlie Parker devoted to performing with a full-string orchestra is either one of his most interesting or most regrettable. Parker himself is purported to have lobbied for the strings, thinking it was how all great musicians should be showcased. The string arrangements Parker received were never more than adequate, and admittedly the saxophone icon was not in the best of health during the '50s when most of these sides were cut. Nonetheless, Parker achieves some breathtaking moments here, especially on the ballads. It's as if the maudlin, stock string arrangements on standards like "Autumn in New York" and "Laura" actually serve to magnify the cutting-edge modernity of Parker's playing. Given the millennial vogue of jazz artists experimenting with string groups, it is perhaps too obvious to see these recordings as well ahead of their time, but one can only imagine what Parker would have done with arrangements that matched his monumental talent.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar