One of the undisputed titans of modern jazz, Charlie “Bird” Parker is still a household name whether you’ve heard the man’s music or not. Hopefully, you’ve heard at least some of his stuff.
- Charlie Parker with Strings (1950) A
- Bird and Diz (1952, with Dizzy Gillespie) A
- This compilation features one of the all-time great jazz lineups. On top of the title pair’s extraordinary sax-trumpet interplay, the rest of the band is filled out by Thelonious Monk on piano and a ferocious drumming performance from Buddy Rich. The most memorable song is the highly-energetic “Leap Frog,” boasting dazzling solo trade-offs between Bird and Diz above Monk’s off-minor chords, while anchored by a fiery backbeat from Rich. But the best song is “Bloomdido,” the leadoff: one of the most influential songs in Parker’s repertoire.
- Jazz at Massey Hall (1953, with The Quintet) A