Anyone daunted by the expense of acquiring the 10-disc Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve may well have their prayers answered by this 2-CD distillation of the big box. It covers a wide stretch of material from Parker's career, going back to the first JATP concert in 1946 and stretching almost to the end of his Norman Granz period. One might prefer a chronological approach - which the box takes - to the wild skipping around from session to session and idiom to idiom that occurs here. But the set does touch all of the bases of the Verve catalogue - the JATP concerts, the string sessions, the Afro-Cuban experiments, the big band treatments, the botched Gil Evans session, and of course, the small combo formats that Parker usually worked within. As part of a basic Charlie Parker collection, which would also include samplings from the Dial and Savoy periods, these CDs are essential as an overview of the diverse formats that Parker explored while recording for Granz.
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AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2