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Acknowledgments, Credits, and Tips of the Hat

I owe a lot to a lot of people -- first among them is John Burton, whose 75th anniversary discography appeared on the internet back in 1995 and was the inspiration for this version. John Griffin has been generous with articles, interviews, and photographs; and I have benefited as well from his careful listening and sage advice. I have received many helpful comments from Carlos de Rosselló, whose attention to detail has helped me to correct many errors. Jay Becker has made many helpful corrections and suggestions as well. Bruno Leicht and James Accardi have shared recordings with me, as well as expertise, encouragement, and good humor. Others who have made valuable contributions include Daniele Campana, Dean Chambers, Jen-Kuang Chang, Luis Contijoch, Jon Foley, Marcel Gärtner, Larry Hancock, Hans Jensen, Larry Koch, Piet Koster, Konrad Lozinski, Wasaburo Miura, Joe Medjuck, Craig Neilson, Leif Bo Petersen, Norman Saks, Mark White, Phil Wilson, Carl Woideck, and Chieo Yamada.

Leif Bo Petersen's careful archival research has helped me to correct many errors and to fix dates and venues that were uncertain or erroneous. I'm grateful to him for sharing his Charlie Parker Chronology on this site. This labor of love contains details about Parker's recording sessions, live performances, and other activities. The activities are separated into years, and Leif periodically updates the files as he comes across new information.

There are some published Charlie Parker discographies you may want to consult:

  1. Piet Koster, Bird Lore: Charlie Parker 1940-1955 (Second Edition). Almere: Micrography/Names & Numbers, 2002. (Names & Numbers also publishes a quarterly newsletter with frequent updates to this discography.)

  2. Leo Petersen, Charlie Parker: A Discography. Copenhagen, 2000. Limited edition, 6 copies; 380 A4 pages.

  3. Claude Schlouch, Charlie Parker: A Discography. Paris, 1999. Limited edition, 200 copies; 145 A4 pages & 28 pp. index.

  4. Robert Bregman, Leonard Bukowski, and Norman Saks, The Charlie Parker Discography. Redwood, NY: Cadence Books, 1993.

Ken Vail's Bird's Diary: The Life of Charlie Parker, 1945-1955 (London: Sanctuary Books, 1996) is a useful tool, too, though he's not very forthcoming about his sources and the book contains a number of errors. But of the many books on Parker and his music, for me the most helpful have been Larry Koch's Yardbird Suite: A Compendium of the Music and Life of Charlie Parker (Northeastern University Press, 1999), and Carl Woideck (ed.), The Charlie Parker Companion: Six Decades of Commentary (Schirmer Books, 1998); the latter is a very useful compendium of interviews, contemporary reportage and reviews, etc. (A brief and selective list of books and websites is available elsewhere on this site.)

A caveat: the discography contains listings for CDs almost exclusively, and in the "issues" section of the session listings I have concentrated on the more-or-less readily available sources, so these are far from discographicaly complete. Many of Parker's studio recordings (for Dial, Savoy, and Emarcy/Clef/Mercury) were originally issued on 78s and/or 45s, then LPs; and much of his "live and unissued" work was originally issued on privately-pressed LPs aimed at collectors. Since pre-LP versions are not readily available, and the LPs themselves are out of print, I have focused on the CD reissues of this material. Even here you have several alternatives:

  1. The Dial and Savoy studio sessions have been reissued together on eight CDs (Savoy SVJ 17079) with (in some cases erroneous) pitch-correction. You can also get these together, with pitch-correction, on Definitive Records DRCD 44402 (also eight CDs).

  2. The Dial sessions are available on four CDs from Stash and also from Definitive Records DRCD 11152 -- the latter set is sonically better but does not include the "Home Cookin'" material from February 1947. Definitive has also released the Dial master takes on two CDs (DRCD 11149). The Dial sessions have also been collected on four CDs from Toshiba: Charlie Parker on Dial Completed (Toshiba/EMI CJ25-5043-6), later reissued as The Complete Dial Sessions (Toshiba TOCJ-66231/4).

  3. The Savoy recordings, both studio and live, are collected on The Complete Charlie Parker on Savoy Years (Nippon Columbia COCY-75791/8).

  4. The Savoy studio sessions -- including the 1945 Guild recordings with Dizzy Gillespie -- are available on four CDs from Nippon Columbia (COCB-50400/3, reissued as COCB-53033/6, COCB-53436/9, and COCB-53883/6). They are also available on four CDs from Definitive Records DRCD 11148. The master takes can be found on two CDs (Definitive DRCD 11140).

  5. The Royal Roost material from 1948-49 has been reissued on four CDs from Nippon Columbia (COCB-50405/8, reissued as COCB-53037/40, COCB-53440/3, and COCB-53887/90).

  6. The Roost material -- minus most of Symphony Sid Torin's banter -- is available from Definitive Records (DRCD 11153), and on Savoy Jazz (Savoy SVY-17021/4).

Definitive Records in Andorra issued a large number of Charlie Parker sets in addition to the Dial and Savoy boxes mentioned above. They went out of business in 2015.

Most of the known Emarcy/Clef/Mercury/Verve recordings were issued on ten CDs, Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve (Verve 837141). Two more recent releases have included two CDs of Charlie Parker with Strings (Universal B0022596-02) and another two CDs of Unheard Bird (Universal B0024802-02) from the Verve vaults.

The best single source of live and unissued material is the "Bird Box," a 22-LP set issued in 1986 in Italy: Charlie Parker Live and Private Recordings in Chronological Order (Bird Box 01-22). This music was reissued in six 3-CD sets by New Sound Planet (JUTB 3001/18). Both the LPs and the CDs are long out of print. There is a Japanese version of the CDs as well (Sound Hills SSCD 8017/34), also out of print.

Fresh Sounds' Rare Live Recordings has issued almost a dozen CDs of live Parker performances. These CDs are nicely produced, with informative liner notes; and some include modest improvements in sound quality. [List of Rare Live Recordings CDs]

The Italian Philology label has issued many volumes of Bird's Eyes Last Unissued. There are 23 pressed CDs (Volumes 1-25 -- some of the early volumes appeared first as LPs, and a few of the CDs combine the contents of two LPs). There are also many CD-Rs (Volumes 26 to 150+). For the most part, the pressed CDs are worthwhile. The CD-Rs are, however, very haphazardly produced, usually duplicating material available elsewhere, often with much worse sound and erroneous and inconsistent discographical information. Nevertheless, there are a very few items on these discs that are not available anywhere else. [List of Philology CDs and CDRs]

I'm sure that there are errors and omissions in these pages, so if you have corrections or additions, send me e-mail at plosin@gmail.com.

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