Q - 10/99, p.1544 stars out of 5
- "...These fascinating 1940s recordings feature Parker with less familiar colleagues...and set the seal on an excellent all-round collection."
Also available as part of a box set on Verve (543 078). Tracks selected by Jackie McLean.
Personnel includes: Charlie Parker, Willie Smith (alto saxophone); Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Flip Phillips, Hank Ross, Pete Mondelo, Jose Madera (tenor saxophone); Stan Webb, Leslie Johnakins, Manny Albam (baritone saxophone); Mario Bauza, Buck Clayton, Al Porcino, Ray Wetzel, Al Killian, Howard McGhee, Paquito Davilla, Bobby Woodlen (trumpet); Will Bradley, Bill Harris (trombone); John LaPorta (clarinet); Mitch Miller (oboe); Irving Ashby (guitar); Hank Jones, Arnold Ross, Stan Freeman, Ken Kersey, Lou Stein (piano); Ray Brown, Curly Russell, Billy Hadnott, Roberto Rodriguez (bass); Buddy Rich, Shelly Manne, Lee Young (drums); Luis Miranda (congas); Machito (maracas).
Producer: Norman Granz.
Compilation producer: Richard Seidel.
Recorded between 1946 and 1952. Includes liner notes by Jackie McLean and Bob Blumenthal.
This is part of the Verve Ultimate Series.
Recording information: Carnegie Hall, New York, NY (01/28/1946-01/23/1952); Embassy Auditorium, LA, CA (01/28/1946-01/23/1952); New York, NY (01/28/1946-01/23/1952); Philharmonic Auditorium, LA, CA (01/28/1946-01/23/1952).
Photographers: Herman Leonard; Jimmy Katz.
For its unique ULTIMATE series of compilations, Verve Records made the wise decision of letting jazz legends pick their favorite recordings by their favorite artists. For ULTIMATE CHARLIE PARKER, alto saxophonist and jazz educator Jackie McLean choose 11 excellent tracks from Parker's work for the legendary label.
Given Parker's relatively small number of Verve sessions, McLean is necessarily limited, but his choices are inarguable. Included here are four tracks from Parker's legendary 1946 shows at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including the breathtaking "I Got Rhythm" and the impossibly fleet-fingered "After You've Gone." There are two tracks from a December, 1947 session at Carnegie Hall, as well as the polyrhythmic "Mango Mangue," which was recorded in 1948 with Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra. Perhaps best of all, there are four tracks from the magnificent, underrated CHARLIE PARKER WITH STRINGS sessions from 1952, including the definitive "April in Paris," perhaps Parker's final moment of true genius in a recording studio.