Charlie Parker

The Saxophone Player

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In 2003 Pack Records released a 14-track collection called Charlie Parker The Saxophone Player, a perhaps too obvious title which sounds better than "Charlie Parker the Steam Shovel Operator" or "Charlie Parker the Ophthalmologist". It is true that Parker mastered Adolph Sax's patented brass and reed contraption and used it to create music that was based upon harmonically advanced ideas and principles that forever altered the way that creative musicians base improvisations upon existing chord progressions. Most Parker collections will illustrate that just by heaving in a handful of recordings from Bird's brief but brilliant career. This budget-priced "Best of Bird" disc will come in handy if there's no other Charlie Parker record within miles of the listener. Better listening opportunities lie in wait for interested parties who wish to dig a little deeper than what is accomplished by this superficial overview. And let us pause to reflect upon the fact that had Adolph Sax not persevered in his struggles with the competitive tendencies of rival inventors, this album might have been called "Charlie Parker the Sarrussophonist".

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