The Music Plays On — Charlie Parker With Strings

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There are few jazz albums worth listening to that have “With Strings” in the title, but Charlie Parker’s albums are an exception. Parker had always wanted to record with a string section and was an ardent admirer of composers such as Igor Stravinsky. On November 30, 1949, Parker’s wish was fulfilled and he recorded six jazz standards with fantastic arrangements by Jimmy Carroll. Entitled, Charlie Parker With Strings, it was a huge success for Parker and his new label, Verve. So much so, that just over six months later, Parker went into the studio again and recorded eight more tracks, orchestrated by Joe Lipman. Verve’s record execs certainly didn’t have much imagination because they named this second album, Charlie Parker with Strings.

The vinyl releases for these tracks is complicated and annoying, but currently there exists, Charlie Parker with Strings, the Deluxe Edition, which contains all of the original studio tracks plus some live tracks from Carnegie Hall.

Written by

Music Director of the California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic