Charlie Parker

Yardbird Suite: The Ultimate Collection

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This nicely priced and packaged two-disc set is a convenient, introductory primer compilation to Parker's music for the average listener. What we have here are 38 tracks spread over two discs that touch on Parker's greatest musical achievements; the sides that are considered -- in most cases -- his groundbreaking work; his greatest compositions and arrangements in what are generally considered the best-known or most representative versions. What is very important about this box set is that it's the first multi-label best-of view retrospective. Up until this, any such compilations were single-label-driven affairs, but with this, the average listener -- indeed, the novice coming to Parker's music for the first time, having heard the legend but not the message -- has all the important stop-off points. The first disc features all the Guild and Musicraft sides with Dizzy Gillespie collected here, followed by the groundbreaking Dial and Savoy singles. The second disc continues Bird's seminal recordings for Dial and Savoy, plus a brace of important sides cut for Granz' Clef label are here. Following those are the inclusion of three performances from Summit Meeting At Birdland, taken from a live radio broadcast of an all-star lineup featuring Bird, Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell. While the Bird-with-strings sessions are Parker's all-time best-selling recordings, it's no small surprise that these tracks were also the licensing glitch that keeps this project from being truly complete. But certainly the next best thing are the live recordings of Bird's quintet with strings and oboe from the Legendary Rockland Palace Concert, selections of which close out the second disc and this compilation. While naysayers will carp about what isn't here, the fact remains that this is simply the best introduction to Bird's music.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:40
2 2:47
3 2:47
4 3:15
5 2:59
6 3:09
7 3:16
8 2:54
9 2:54
10 2:57
11 3:00
12 3:09
13 3:07
14 2:34
15 2:45
16 3:10
17 3:13
18 2:34
19 3:25
20 3:05

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:59
2 4:05
3 2:49
4 2:54
5 2:48
6 3:04
7 3:27
8 3:34
9 3:08
10 3:06
11 3:00
12 7:20
13 3:47
14 5:15
15 2:35
16 2:26
17 3:34
18 3:27
blue highlight denotes track pick