Websites and Posts Worth a Look #2

JAZZ @ LINCOLN CENTER CHARLIE PARKER WITH STRINGS CONCERT Here’s an episode of NPR’s Jazz Night In America called “Bird Lives! A Charlie Parker Centennial, With Strings Attached.” The main musical focus of the program is a concert from Jazz @ Lincoln Center featuring the Bird with Strings material played live with Charles McPherson, Wes Anderson and Vince Gardner as featured soloists. Along with the usual chestnuts the concert repertoire includes 2 pieces that Bird commissioned for the ensemble but never recorded: George Russell’s “Ezz-thetic,” and John Lewis’ “Scootin’.” WANT TO HAVE YOUR OWN D.I.Y. BIRD WITH STRINGS CONCERT? You … Continue reading Websites and Posts Worth a Look #2

The Party Continues!

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 … Continue reading The Party Continues!

Websites and posts worth a look

Check out Kevin Sun’s website for a recent post about Bird’s performances of “This Time the Dream’s On Me”. Excellent transcriptions and informed commentary. Here’s a day-by-day reconstruction of Bird’s trip to Sweden in November 1950. Hat tip to Kevin Sun for the link. Back in May 2020, Oxford University Press published “Charlie Parker, Composer” by Henry Martin. The publisher’s teaser comes on pretty strong, saying it’s the “first book to examine the totality of a major jazz composer’s works.” Get a preview by reading Mr. Martin’s article for MTO, a journal of the Society of Music Theory. In the … Continue reading Websites and posts worth a look

Corporate America says, “Celebrate Bird’s centennial – with our products!”

Here’s a recent attempt at cashing in on Bird’s legacy. More to come…. Hal Leonard publishes “Charlie Parker – The Complete Scores” “Hal Leonard celebrates the 100th anniversary of Charlie “Bird” Parker with this deluxe hardcover Complete Scores book featuring note-for-note transcriptions of 40 classic performances for saxophones, trumpet, piano, bass and drums. This is a true celebration of an American music icon, the preeminent alto saxophonist who was one of the fathers of bebop and blah blah blah….” $60 Continue reading Corporate America says, “Celebrate Bird’s centennial – with our products!”

WKCR’s 2020 Charlie Parker Centennial Birthday Broadcast: midnight August 29 – midnight Sept 3

This is big. A 120 hour special broadcast devoted to Charlie Parker. Broadcast live on wkcr 88.9FM in NYC and streaming live at “Commencing at midnight August 29th and concluding at midnight September 3rd, WKCR-FM (89.9 FM, will present the Charlie Parker Centennial Festival, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of a colossal figure in American music with a 120-hour marathon broadcast. The Festival will air 24 hours a day, and will showcase the majority of the saxophonist’s extensive discography, including both commercially issued material and rarities. Beginning each day with a potpourri of studio recordings and concerts, … Continue reading WKCR’s 2020 Charlie Parker Centennial Birthday Broadcast: midnight August 29 – midnight Sept 3

An Art Farmer story about Charlie Parker

Short and illuminating From Randi Hultin’s book “Born Under The Sign Of Jazz” “I was a close friend of Parker’s during the time I lived in California and went to high school – this was in the forties, just after he left Dizzy Gillespie. Addison [Art’s twin brother] and I had rented a big room to practice in, and Charlie Parker used to come there often – sometimes to get away from people, and other times because he didn’t have anything else to do. We used to go to the movies together, but nobody had any money, so we waited … Continue reading An Art Farmer story about Charlie Parker

A Double Schnapps

On August 8 1951, Charlie Parker recorded 4 sides for Norman Granz and Clef Records, with Red Rodney, John Lewis, Ray Brown, and Kenny Clarke. One of Bird’s tunes was titled “Swedish Schapps.” On September 10 1953, Gene Krupa recorded 8 sides for Norman Granz and Clef Records, with Charlie Shavers, Ben Webster, Bill Harris, Teddy Wilson, Herb Ellis, and Ray Brown. The band recorded a Charlie Shavers original entitled “Swedish Schnapps.” [Curiously, this recording seems to be in concert A major. Either Clef was careless about issuing it at the correct speed or Shavers wrote in a most unusual … Continue reading A Double Schnapps