Charlie Parker’s “Unheard” Notes

Offering 69 tracks, most previously unissued, this new two-disk set is a monumental archeological achievement.


Charlie Parker
Unheard Bird: The Unissued Takes
Verve

Courtesy of Verve

There are only a few artists whose every remnant, however slight, deserves hearing. The Beatles, Dylan, Hank Williams and Billie Holiday all qualify, as does Charlie Parker—his gorgeous alto sax sounds as fresh and inventive today as it did more than a half-century ago. Offering 69 tracks, most previously unissued, on two discs, Unheard Bird is a monumental archeological achievement. This dazzling set draws on sessions from the late ’40s and early ’50s and captures Parker in a variety of settings, from small-group dates to Latin excursions to experiments with strings. Along with false starts, incomplete takes and alternate versions of songs like “Night and Day” and “Star Eyes,” this stellar package includes the previously released master recording of each one, which provides a fascinating window into the creative process of a genius. Collaborators include fellow greats Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson and Freddie Green. Unheard Bird isn’t the place to start discovering Parker, but it’s essential for anyone who already digs his work.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.