Personnel: Charlie Parker (alto saxophone); Wardell Gray, Lucky Thompson (tenor saxophone); Dizzy Gillespie, Howard McGhee, Miles Davis (trumpet);
J.J. Johnson (trombone); Clye Hart, Sadik Hakim, Dodo Marmarosa, Bud Powell, John Lewis, Duke Jordan, Erroll Garner (piano); Tiny Grimes, Arvin Garrison, Barney Kessell, (guitar); Curly Russell, Jimmy Butts, Vic McMillan, Red Callender, Tommy Potter, Nelson Boyd (bass); Max Roach, Harold "Doc" West, Roy Porter, Don Lamond (drums).
Producers: Teddy Reig, Ross Russell, Buck Ram.
Principally recorded at WOR, New York, New York; Radio Recorders, C.P. MacGregor, Hollywood, California; United Sound Studios, Detroit, Michigan between 1944 & 1948. Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This compilation whittles Charlie Parker's output on the Savoy and Dial labels down to 20 essential tracks. The booklet is certainly impressive for a best-of item; producer Orrin Keepnews offers a complete sessionography, richly informative track-by-track annotation, and an introductory essay. Interestingly, he includes several originally unissued takes as representative of Parker's best and elects to scrap the 1946 Dial session that yielded a notoriously smacked-out reading of "Lover Man" and ended with Parker being institutionalized. Listeners who can't be bothered with endless alternate takes won't find any here, but devotees will want to seek out the full set, The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948, also brought forth by Savoy in 2002. ~ David R. Adler