This 17-cut compilation covers Charlie Parker's early years with Savoy. All of this material has been released many times, and has even been packaged better. But it does serve a purpose in introducing some of the most seminal performances Charlie Parker and his bands committed to tape at the dawn of bebop. This budget-priced disc includes all master takes and some of the most seminal compositions in the history of jazz. While it's true the Dial period is not covered here, the years 1945-48 are represented by historic cuts like "Koko," "Billie's Bounce," "Donna Lee," "Chasin' the Bird," "Parker's Mood," and "Steeplechase," to name a few. The material is all by Bird. The earliest sides feature Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet -- only on "Koko," and playing piano on a few cuts. Miles Davis enters the picture later in '45, in a band that included Max Roach, Bud Powell, and Tommy Potter. In 1947, pianists Duke Jordan and later John Lewis joined the band, as did bassist Curly Russell. Roach was in the band throughout, and after Gillespie's initial stint so was Davis. Now's the Time [Savoy Jazz] is recommended for the novice. For those who are interested in the breadth and depth of Parker's stays with Savoy and Dial, the three-disc Complete Savoy and Dial Master Takes is recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek