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To the novice jazz fan, Charlie Parker’s discography must look like a mind-numbing maze constructed of numerous airshots, bootlegs, proper albums, and overlapping compilations of outtakes, solos, and 78s. The cult of Bird is so intoxicated with the singing of his saxophone that ornithologists crave his every utterance, no matter how trite or shoddily recorded. What Yardbird Suite does is bring together the best tracks from seven labels and spread them over two CDs, straightening the maze into a linear path through Birdland. The handsome package mimics in miniature the look of 78 sleeves, complete with replicated wear and tear, but that’s where the ode to oldness ends: The mastering is thoroughly modern. The tracks that defined bebop (“Groovin’ High,” “Salt Peanuts,” “Ko Ko,” etc.) are here, and while time has lessened their immediacy (bebop’s inventions having been assimilated so deeply as to be commonplace) there’s a vibrancy here that will never be duplicated. And the tracks Parker did with strings (“Laura,” “Just Friends,” etc.) are as sumptuous as those small group dates are furious. The liner notes by Ira Gitler and Bob Porter are enthusiastic and informative, but enough has been written about Parker’s sound. Yardbird Suite allows us simply to listen to his music.—Christopher Porter