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Charlie Parker – The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection (Craft)

Charlie Parker
11 December 2020

This high-intensity set collects 28 tracks bebop pioneer Charlie Parker recorded for New York’s Savoy label from 1944 to 1948, which were originally released on 78s, then reissued on compilations and recycled umpteen times since. (He also made groundbreaking music for the Dial and Verve labels.) Along with Parker on alto, and occasionally tenor, sax, The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection features such artists as Miles Davis (trumpet), Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet and piano), Bud Powell (piano), John Lewis (piano) and Max Roach (drums). But historical importance isn’t the reason to listen to these head-spinning performances, because they still bristle with unruly beauty more than 70 years later. Sometimes swingin’, sometimes reflective and sometimes manic, Parker and company seem to be searching for a new state of consciousness as they navigate the unpredictable melodies, with his restless, graceful lyricism setting the tone. The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection feels like a visit to an exotic, dreamlike world that’s both daunting and entrancing.