Although a restless and brilliant improviser like Charlie Parker's true home will always be the stage--as evidenced by the literally dozens of exciting live recordings still being recovered decades after his death in 1955--there are those who feel, with some justification, that his late-'40s recordings for Savoy Records are the essence of bebop. Certainly Parker's backing groups at the time, starring such up-and-comers as trumpeter Miles Davis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, and drummer Max Roach, were among the greatest in jazz history, but throughout THE BIRD RETURNS, the focus is always on Parker's endlessly questing alto sax. Not for nothing is the opening track called "Chasin' the Bird," because when Parker was in the midst of one of his fluid, breathtaking improvisations, all the band could do was catch up. The only fault with THE BIRD RETURNS is that its 30 minutes leave listeners longing for more.
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic