Charlie Parker: Carvin' the Bird


Carvin’ the Bird


Charlie Parker (alto sax)


The Complete Savoy and Dial Master Takes (Savoy Jazz)

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Charlie Parker (alto sax), Howard McGhee (trumpet), Wardell Gray (tenor sax), Dodo Marmarosa (piano), Barney Kessel (guitar), Red Callender (bass), Don Lamond (drums).

Composed by Charlie Parker


Recorded: Hollywood, February 26, 1947


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Just weeks after his release from Camarillo State Hospital, Parker was back in Dial’s studios to record with trumpeter Howard McGhee, saxophonist Wardell Gray and other top West Coast bebop artists. What makes "Carvin’ the Bird" so special—in addition to Bird’s refreshed sound—is Barney Kessel’s unusual guitar intro. Kessel opens with a series of thick, modern chords—a prototype, perhaps, for John Coltrane’s Giant Steps? Despite the crowd of musicians on this date, "Carvin’ the Bird" is an effective blues, with echoes of George Gershwin’s "Fascinating Rhythm," and marks the reemergence of Bird from an especially dark period.

Reviewer: Marc Myers


  • 1 JB // Jan 18, 2009 at 02:06 PM
    I was listening to the track and was impressed by that guitar intro. I guessed Kessel, but was glad to read your notes(after googling the song title)confirming it. Thank you for your efforts... JB