Acknowledgments, Credits, and Tips of the Hat
I owe a lot to a lot of people -- first among them is John Burton, whose 75th anniversary discography appeared on the internet back in 1995 and was the inspiration for this version. I've received many helpful comments from Carlos de Rosselló, whose careful listening and attention to detail has helped me to correct many errors. Jay Becker has made many helpful corrections and suggestions as well. James Accardi has shared recordings with me, as well as expertise, encouragement, and good humor. Others who have made valuable contributions include Daniele Campana, Dean Chambers, Jen-Kuang Chang, Luis Contijoch, Jon Foley, Marcel Gärtner, Larry Hancock, Hans Jensen, Larry Koch, Piet Koster, Konrad Lozinski, Wasaburo Miura, Joe Medjuck, Craig Neilson, Norman Saks, Phil Wilson, and Chieo Yamada.
Leif Bo Petersen's careful archival research has helped me to correct several errors and to fix dates and venues that were uncertain or erroneous. He has kindly offered to publish his Charlie Parker Chronology on this site. It contains details about Parker's recording sessions, live performances, and other activities. The activities are separated into years, and Leif periodically updates the files as he comes across new information.
There are some published Charlie Parker discographies you should consult:
Ken Vail's Bird's Diary: The Life of Charlie Parker, 1945-1955 (London: Sanctuary Books, 1996) is a useful tool, too, though he's not very forthcoming about his sources and some of the information is wrong. But of the many books on Parker and his music, for me the most helpful has been Larry Koch's Yardbird Suite: A Compendium of the Music and Life of Charlie Parker (Northeastern University Press, 1999). Also look at Carl Woidek (ed.), The Charlie Parker Companion: Six Decades of Commentary (Schirmer Books, 1998) for interviews, contemporary reportage and reviews, etc. (A brief and selective Charlie Parker bibliography is located elsewhere on this website, and also a brief list of Charlie Parker websites.)
A caveat: the discography contains listings for CDs only, and in the "issues" section of the Sessions listings I have concentrated on the more-or-less readily available sources, so these are far from discographically complete. Many of Parker's studio recordings (for Dial, Savoy, and Emarcy-Clef-Mercury) were originally issued on 78s and/or 45s, then LPs; and much of his "live and unissued" work was originally issued on privately-pressed LPs aimed at collectors. Since pre-LP versions are not readily available, and the LPs themselves are out of print, I have focused on the CD reissues of this material. Even here you have several choices to make:
Definitive Records in Andorra have issued a large number of Charlie Parker sets in addition to the Dial and Savoy boxes mentioned above. Check out their website: http://www.disconforme.ad
Most of the known Emarcy-Clef-Mercury-Verve recordings have been collected on ten CDs (Verve 837141).
The best single source of live and unissued material is the 22-LP set issued in Italy, Charlie Parker Live and Private Recordings in Chronological Order, commonly referred to as the Bird Box. This music was reissued in six 3-CD sets by New Sound Planet (JUTB 3001/18). Both the LPs and the CDs are long out of print. There is a Japanese version of the CDs as well (Sound Hills SSCD 8017/34), also out of print.
The Italian Philology label has issued many volumes of Bird's Eyes Last Unissued. There are 23 pressed CDs (Volumes 1-25; some of the early volumes appeared first as LPs, and a few of the CDs combine the contents of two LPs). There are also many CD-Rs (Volumes 26 to 100+). The pressed CDs are worthwhile. The CD-Rs are very haphazardly produced, usually duplicating material available elsewhere, often with erroneous discographical information and execrable sound quality; however, there are a very few items on these discs that are not available anywhere else.
I'm sure that there are errors and omissions in these pages, so if you have corrections or additions, send me e-mail at email@example.com.