Charlie Parker

Bird at the Roost: The Savoy Years, Vol. 1

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Among the most rewarding live recordings of Charlie Parker are his performances on a regular series of broadcasts that emanated from the Royal Roost during 1948-1949. Muse, in its Savoy series, released all of this valuable music on two double LPs and a single album; some of it has since appeared on CD. This first volume has six of these radio airchecks (with Symphony Sid Torin announcing), and finds Parker and his quintet (either Miles Davis or Kenny Dorham on trumpets, Tadd Dameron or Al Haig on piano, Curley Russell or Tommy Potter on bass, and Max Roach or Joe Harris on drums) getting the opportunity to stretch out on four- to five-minute versions of such songs as "Groovin' High," "Big Foot," "Ornithology," "Slow Boat to China," and "East of the Sun," among others. A special highlight occurs when Bird answers a request on the December 25 broadcast and does a brilliant reworking of "White Christmas." Highly recommended.