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Savoy Jazz Announces the Release of Three New Collections by Three of Jazz’s Most Influential Saxophonists: Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Stan Getz
July, 30 2002

All About Jazz, 07.30.02

Savoy Jazz, the label that who first recorded the early pioneers of Bebop, is offering three new premium packages by major jazz icons, Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Stan Getz in various configurations.. These celebrated recordings are being offered as part of the storied Newark, NJ-based label's 60th anniversary.

Charlie Parker Best of the Complete Savoy and Dial Recordings collects 20 of Bird's finest sessions (compiled from the double Grammy nominated Complete eight CD box) made during his peak years, 1944-48. Lester Young The Complete Savoy Recordings and Stan Getz The Complete Savoy Recordings include every track recorded for Savoy by the two tenor titans.

The two-disc Lester Young set features the incomparable Prez at two distinct periods of his career. Disc one features three separate sessions recorded over two weeks in 1944. The first features Lester in a sextet led by pianist Johnny Guarnieri, alongside trumpeter Billy Butterfield and clarinetist Hank D'Amico. Later that same day, Lester and his other bandmates in Count Basie's band recorded under the name of altoist Earle Warren. This typically hard-swinging Basie unit included Texas tenorman Buddy Tate, a top-notch trumpet section with Harry "Sweets" Edison, Joe Newman and Al Killian, and the impeccable rhythmic tandem of guitarist Freddie Green and drummer Jo Jones, with Clyde Hart taking Basie's place at the piano. A quintet session under Lester's leadership rounds out the CD in beautiful fashion, featuring Basie on piano and Green on guitar.

The second disc starts with a June 1949 sextet studio date that includes Jessie Drakes on trumpet, Junior Mance on piano and Roy Haynes on drums. The remainder of the disc is comprised of a fascinating 1950 live performance in Chicago that should be a revelation to both fans of Prez and the jazz saxophone in general. Unencumbered by time or studio constraints, and with an exuberant audience in tight proximity, Prez tears into nine tunes with a ferocity and abandon that is live jazz at its best. Lester Young The Complete Savoy Recordings is ideal for the avid Prez fan, or someone looking for a great introduction to the peerless tenorman.

Stan Getz The Complete Savoy Recordings features the enormously popular tenor saxophonist on his very first dates as a leader recorded in the late '40s. A disciple of Lester Young's, the young Stan Getz proves that he'd already developed his own style while still a teenager.

Opening with a 1946 quartet recording with the sterling rhythm section of Hank Jones, Curley Russell and Max Roach, Getz displays a swagger and command of the bebop style quite surprising for a young man of 19. That same maturity is in full evidence on a session recorded the year before with Kai's Krazy Kats, led by popular trombonist Kai Winding, and also featuring two other West Coast legends, trumpeter Shorty Rogers and Shelly Manne on drums.

The final session, recorded in 1949, brings Getz together with two of his fellow "Four Brothers" from Woody Herman's Second Herd Zoot Sims and Al Cohn, a popular tenor tandem on their own for many years after. With Jimmy Raney on guitar, Duke Jordan on piano and Earl Swope on trombone, Cohn's outstanding arrangements help this session epitomize "cool jazz."

Charlie Parker Best of the Complete Savoy & Dial Studio Recordings is the perfect companion piece to the Charlie Parker - The Best of the Complete Live Performances on Savoy, that, along with The Modern Red Norvo and Dizzy Gillespie: Odyssey 1945-52 comprised the first release on Savoy Jazz' ambitious re-issue program.

The music contained here features Bird in his prime during the period in which he was the undisputed King of modern jazz. Beginning with a 1944 sideman date with Tiny Grimes, Best of the Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Sessions' 20 tracks are all undisputed classics of the bebop era, not only as compositions but in the very performances themselves. Featuring a veritable who's who of the era including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Lewis, J.J. Johnson, Max Roach, Howard McGhee and many more these tracks are the cornerstone of modern jazz and a must for any serious collection.

Producer Orrin Keepnews and Savoy Jazz have taken great care to attain the finest audio quality possible. The beautifully produced booklets that accompany each CD are peppered with photographs and provide detailed information about the artists and sessions by expert analysts Keepnews (Parker), Loren Schoenberg (Young) and Doug Ramsey (Getz).