Charlie Parker: Lover
Charlie Parker (alto sax)
Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes (Verve 314 523 984-2)
Gordon “Chris” Griffin, Bernie Privin (trumpet); Will Bradley (trombone),Toots Mondello, Murray Williams (alto sax); Hank Ross, Art Drellinger (tenor sax); Stan Webb (baritone sax), Lou Stein (piano), Verley Mills (harp), unknown strings, Art Ryerson (guitar), Bob Haggart (bass).
Arranged and conducted by Joe Lippman. Composed by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart..
Recorded: New York, January 22 or 23, 1952
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
Charlie Parker with Strings at Birdland (1951), photo by Marcel Fleiss
Though billed as Charlie Parker with Strings, the latter flounder ineffectually on this up-tempo track featuring Bird's blazing alto and a brace of bellowing brass. Indeed, with such ear-splitting trumpeting, Harris's trombone turn and Lamond's drumming, this might sooner be Woody Herman's 1945 Herd than a showcase for bebop's leading improviser. The concluding harp glissando—verily Verley Mills, the soul of patience, sat through the entire track just to strum that single lick—sums up what makes Bird's "Lover" tough to take. Somebody should've decided between bop, big-band swing or sappy strings, and stuck with that choice. Even so, it is Charlie Parker.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz