Saturday, June 7, 2014
Charlie Parker The Charlie Parker Story Volume 1 Verve 1957
Another yard sale find, another cheap Charlie Parker compilation album. Actually, these Verve volumes are fairly well regarded, however, this version is a repress of the original that's been "electronically re-recorded to simulate stereo" and collectors know, that's a bad thing. So, it likely holds true that the original owner purchased it at a bargain price long after the original release. Further, while the Verve volumes do seem to garner respect, they are at times, very commercially selective. This is your introduction to Parker, with some good cuts, but not the deep cuts.
Like any other genre changing musician, there is a legend about Parker. He was a KC jazz musician, just an everyday player that no one paid much attention to. In interviews, he stated to get where he wanted to be, he took himself out for a while, claimed he was "woodsheding" in a family members Kansas City home/shed for months on end. He just locked himself up and practiced. Developed his rapid pace and progressions over the course of months. He knew how to play before, but what he came up with in a small Kansas City shed was about to surprise everybody.
The players that witnessed his new style where obviously floored. For them, here was a guy that months ago was decent at best, all the sudden he comes up on them just laying down impossible progressions. That started the legend, similar to Robert Johnson's story, that Parker struck a deal...because there's no way someone can be that good.