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When producer Norman Granz decided to let Charlie Parker record standards with a full string section (featuring Mitch Miller on oboe!), the purists cried sellout, but nothing could be further from the truth. There's a real sense of involvement from Bird on these sides, which collect up all the master takes and also include some live tracks from Carnegie Hall that — judging from the sometimes uneasy murmurings of the crowd — amply illustrate just how weirdly this mixture of bop lines against "legit" arrangements was perceived. The music on this collection is lush, poetic, romantic as hell, and the perfect antidote to a surfeit of jazz records featuring undisciplined blowing. There's a lot of jazz, but there's only one Bird.