The Complete Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker (#129)

Mosaic Records Limited Edition Box Set


The Complete Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker (#129)
“A major discovery in the world of art"- Wayne Thompson, The Oregonian

7 CDs -  $112.00


The Story Behind the Myth

The story behind the myth begins in March of '47.

Bird took an extended gig at the Hi-De-Ho in Los Angeles with Howard McGhee, Hampton Hawes, Addison Farmer and Roy Porter. Bird was healthy, having just come out of Camarillo State Hospital, and he was at the peak of his powers. When a saxophone player/amateur recordist named Dean Benedetti heard him, he was awestruck. Benedetti approached Bird and asked for permission to run a disc recorder during the sets. Bird agreed, and Benedetti began! To preserve disc space, Benedetti would start the machine when Bird was soloing, and stop the machine as soon as the solo was over. Benedetti used a mike, placed right in front of Bird's instrument, and except for Bird and the bass directly behind him, little else was captured on disc.

Using this technique, Benedetti recorded nearly four hours of concentrated Bird solos over a two-week period, with the sound varying from quite poor to fairly good. Bird's musical ideas, however, are never less than brilliant.

On to New York.

Later in '47, Bird returned to New York, and Benedetti followed. This time, however, Benedetti had an early model tape recorder. He taped Bird one night at the Onyx and another at the Three Deuces (where in one segment, we hear Monk coming out of the audience to teach Bird how to play "Straight, No Chaser"). The quality of the New York recordings is quite good, and they account for fully half of this collection.

These are the Benedetti recordings in their entirety, and after 40 years of rumor, speculation and debate, they are at last available to the world.

Everything is transferred directly from the original discs and tapes by legendary engineer Jack Towers and coproducer Phil Schaap. The 48-page booklet includes musical transcriptions by Benedetti and others, essays by Phil Schaap on Parker's life during this period, a biography of Dean Benedetti by Bob Porter, a musical analysis by Parker authority James Patrick, and Phil Schaap's complete annotated discography of all the music in the set.

This set is our first Mosaic Unlimited release. Since we own, rather than lease, the rights to these recordings, we are not restricted in any way as to the number of sets we can make available.

Read More About Charlie Parker:
Track Listing, Personnel & Recording Dates »

“Fellow pilgrims, the quest for the legendary Dean Benedetti collection has ended. Presented on these 7 CDs, this collection is not for dilettantes. To those, however, who understand and appreciate Parker as a genius, I can unreservedly recommend it.” – Ira Gitler, Jazz Times

  • Booklet
  • Audio Quality
  • Photography
  • Sample Session Notes
The 48-page booklet includes musical transcriptions, essays by Phil Schaap, a biography of Dean Benedetti by Bob Porter, a musical analysis by Parker authority James Patrick, and Phil Schaap's complete annotated discography.

In the age of microsizing, every Mosaic Records Box Set booklet is still 11 x 11 inches to allow our customers to appreciate all the extras we put into printing them (and for easier reading).


Everything is transferred directly from the original discs and tapes by legendary engineer Jack Towers and coproducer Phil Schaap.

Photo Copyright © Protected
Charlie Parker
This 48 page large booklet contains many great photos of Bird from the personal collection of Jimmy Knepper and Rick Benedetti as well as photogoraghs courtesy of the Frank Driggs collection.


Click here to write a review

  One man's obsession is now our possession
What can I say... if you're a Birdophile you *must* have this. The only other jazz musician I wish had had his own Dean Benedetti following him around is Thelonious Monk. Man, I would sign over my bank account for such a treasure. Speaking of, when Bird announces "What are we going to do about Monk?" the tune is not "Straight, No Chaser" but "Well, You Needn't." Mosaic, you need to fix this already.
If a saxophonist doesn't feel intimidated by Charlie Parker he/she isn't listening.
  The very best alto saxophone player
I wrote the review on Bird stating that a few saxophone players would look for a new profession after hearing him play his horn.I clearly did not mean every one would quit playing there horn just that it can be intimidating to some players after hearing Mr. Parker playing.
Must be in every serious collection!!!! TOP! BIRD FOREVER!!!!
  Sounds Like a Must Have
I'm an alto player myself, and I own just about everything Bird ever recorded. While I haven't bought this set (yet), I've heard many of the Bennedetti cuts listening to Phil Schapp on New York jazz radio over the years. I agree that you need to be a musician to appreciate the sliced up nature of the material (the same way it helps to be a musician to truly appreciate anything more sophisticated than "smooth jazz"). The one thing that several reviewers have mentioned, that I'll never understand, is why so many players want to chuck their horns after hearing a great player. When I first heard Bird, 30 years ago, I became totally inspired and my immediate thought was, "I want to play like that!" And gosh darn it, I practiced my ass off until I did! Bird wasn't God, he was just a man, and if you know anything about his story, he was thrown out of clubs as a teen because he couldn't play. He didn't give up: He went home, practiced like a madman, came back and blew everyone away. Great musicianship should inspire us and challenge us to become better, not embitter us and make us want to give up...Ok, I'm done preaching! Go buy the set and enjoy Bird in a relaxed setting playing wild, creative jazz!
  Unconfined Bird
This is Bird preaching to his disciples.Buy this and in the years and decades to come you will be playing snippets of these CD's, long after most of todays output has been deleted from your ipod. Allan lomax
  Dead Sea Scrolls of Jazz
This set proves two things about Charlie Parker. One, every note he ever played is worth hearing. Yes, the sound is awful and only Bird's solos are recorded, but after nearly 15 years, this set remains one of my favorites. Two, Bird never played the same note twice. There is a series of solos from In the Mood for Love and every one is completely different. This set is highly recommended for all who ever enjoyed hearing Bird play
  well . . .
I have heard some of these tapes but due to the fragmentary nature, I can't say I recommend them to anyone but a true orinthologist. These tapes feature ONLY the Charlie Parker solos. Everyone else has been edited out, save the rhythm section. These flights lose some of their power outside the context of their songs. Imagine a four hour speech being cut down to the best four minutes. Is this best and most accurate representation of the speech? What if the rest of the speech was terrible? If you love and need everything yardbird has done, get this now. Otherwise, go directly to the dials and savoys now.
  ko ko knocked me dead
how much more talent could there be like good ole charlie
  he could
Yep, he could play.
  Mr. Parker
Mr. Parker certainly could play the alto saxophone.
  If you're a sax player don't buy this set. It'll
make you want to throw your horn in an incinerator.
  Alto Madness - Review by A. Z. Sanders
When it comes to the saxophone I normally would prefer hearing the sounds that come from the tenor saxophone, the exception being the alto saxophone sounds of Charlie Parker and Jackie McLean, who was mentored by Parker. Charlie Parker led the way for other great saxophonists to follow. Such would include: John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, and Jackie McLean, just to name a few. Many critics gave Coltrane credit for developing what was called the “sheet of sound” approach - a harmonically intricate, oddly accented torrent of arpeggios. I beg to differ. I would attribute Parker as the innovator of this technique. As Wayne Shorter once put it, "Charlie Parker didn't play the saxophone like it was a saxophone. He played it like one would play a piano..lots of looping." Unfortunately, Parker died in 1955 at the young age of 34. Fortunately, we have these and other recordings by which to remember him.
  The Greatest of all saxophone players.
Bird was the word,imagine all the saxophone players that in his time and even now put the horn back in the bag after hearing his siren call on the horn.A new profession looks good after hearing Bird cut loose on the bandstand.Seeing and hearing him live made a new job look alot easier.Bird does live on these recordings.
Well, fortunately, Benedetti's transcriptions here have survived - doesn't matter greatly about the recorded sound (name one Parker recording - or that of any of his contemporaries - where it does) ... and the 4-star rating is only in comparison with the "best" of what we know about Parker (Dial recordings, in their totality). This set, though, is as "vital" as the Dial recordings, and it's "disjointed" nature (snippets of solos, ensembles, etc.) may be even more important to those "who think they know what the Parker solos are all about".
  An essential addition to any collection
As a musician I have spent years collecting and studying every Parker recording that has been available, but when I received these recordings I knew that the legends were justified. This is pure in-flight Bird song at it's best. Unaware of the microphones presence, we hear Parker truly playing for his own pleasure and the audiences entertainment. But for me, one of the most curious moments is hearing Benedetti himself playing Parker solos, alone and along with a gramophone record - a remarkable testimony to a more than competent musician and devoted student of the alto master.
  So Ross Russell was a least partially correct!
This is NOT an album for the casual jazz listener. The sound isn't good and very few pieces are played in their entirety. However, the locating of these tapes, which were originally described in overly dramatic fashion by Ross Russell in BIRD LIVES, is a great addition to the aural history of jazz. To the many serious followers of Charlie Parker, the album gives further opportunity to hear his ever-changing artistry in his best venue (i.e. live in a night club). The booklet is most helpful in guiding the listener. However, the sheer number of excerpts, some of which are very short, can cause some confusion. This is the type of reference material that should be dipped into from time to time to appreciate. With these supposedly "lost" tapes found and the 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert records found in Benny Goodman's closet, is there any chance that there is an Edison cylinder with Buddy Bolden on it still floating around?
  Bird and the sacred scripts
The dial recordings can be called parker's bible. No doubt about it. The Benedetti recordings are perhaps the dead sea scrolls.
  Okay, so the sound is not great---the playing is!
This set has awful sound. It is remastered painstakingly and thoroughly from scarred discs cut on a portable disc recorder, and paper tape from an early tape recorder, and the source material was clandestinely recorded with little consideration for the sonic result. But this is a treasure trove of unfettered Charlie Parker performances. Benedetti captured the solos of Bird, and occasionally complete performances of the jazz combos, when Bird was playing in Los Angeles with Howard McGhee, and upon his return to New York City where he assembled the famed quintet with Miles Davis, Duke Jordan and Max Roach. Parker was playing at the top of his game. His music here is simply an amazing listening experience. This also has one of the very best Mosaic booklets ever, in which not only are the life and times of Charlie Parker during this period documented, but the life of Dean Benedetti is revealed, and what a life it was! So different from the horrible information about him found elsewhere, here one finds

The Complete Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker (#129)
The Complete Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker (#129)
Limited Edition: Unlimited copies
7 CDs - $112.00

Customer Reviews:

"The Dial recordings can be called Parker's bible. No doubt about it. The Benedetti recordings are perhaps the Dead Sea Scrolls."
Read More Reviews »

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