The Party Continues!

Bird takes a bite

Saturday August 29 was the actual 100th birthday for Charlie Parker and his name briefly crossed the radar screen of American culture. Here are essays by 3 first rate jazz writers:

Lewis Porter at Understanding Bird

We know that Parker was building on the work of his predecessors; there’s no other way to create anything. And yet his music is inexplicable: It takes a leap beyond what others might have done (and did) with the same influences. If the word “genius” means anything, maybe this is one aspect of it — the ability to take the past and create something far beyond what anyone else imagined. And perhaps the other aspect of genius is the ability to create works that open up the future, that embody so many possibilities that one can depart from them in almost any direction

Lewis Porter

Mark Stryker at Live Bird is the Best Bird

Ultimately, that is what it is all about: Charlie Parker’s music is so powerful because it is so sweeping in what it expresses and how it expresses it. Each of Bird’s improvisations not only tell you more about his artistry and how he perceives the world, they tell you more about yourself and those around you. Bird opens your heart and mind to your own emotions, your own understanding of creativity, your own place within the cosmos.

Mark Stryker

Ethan Iverson at Words About Bird

Words about Bird aren’t that important. One just needs to keep listening. After you learn to appreciate the subtleties, you’ll hear something of Bird in just about everyone of consequence since. As for the man himself, I maintain Dewey Redman said it best:Charlie Parker sounds better every day.”

Ethan Iverson

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