Charlie Parker

Bird's Eyes, Vol. 7

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Various airchecks and recordings made on the sly by fans of Charlie Parker have circulated for years. The series of Bird's Eyes CDs issued by Philology attempted to clean up these often muddy artifacts, with some success. This compilation features Parker in good form on several different gigs, though the first two tracks sound as if they come from a large venue and the band is unidentified. A jam on Coleman Hawkins' "Stuffy" includes a group of Jazz at the Philharmonic All-Stars. The sound is a little better on the medley of "Conception" and "Deception," with Miles Davis, J.J. Johnson, and Brew Moore joining Parker. Two long interviews with Parker, by Marshall Stearns and John Maher, are somewhat rambling and distracting due to the laughter and comments from Parker's wife and children, though they are each transcribed in the liner notes.

The second portion of the disc features private recordings made by a young Phil Woods with his friends, including guitarist Sal Salvador, drummer Morellos, and lesser well-known musicians like vibraphonist Joe Raich, bassist Chuck Andrews, and pianist Hal Serra. Woods is already showing some promise on his main instrument, while also briefly playing clarinet. Morellos takes a rare, good-natured vocal in "Embraceable You," with Woods prompting him with the lyrics. Woods own vocal feature, "Oh, Lady Be Good," is cut off prematurely. Obviously this set was made for the enjoyment of the musicians and never intended for commercial issue. But it is still fun hearing future stars in their formative years.

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