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Monday, April 09, 2012

Charlie Parker -- Bird's Best Bop on Verve


Charlie Parker was a great musician.  I don't know how he got the nickname "Bird," but his saxophone definitely sounded like one, and his fingers moved at hummingbird wing speeds.  I think Bebop music was probably regarded as "devil music" in the 1940's or 50's, which is hilarious considering this is music you would hear now at a fancy dinner party, or put on in the background while cleaning your house on a rainy day.
Just about all of the songs Verve picked for this collection are Parker working with small combos, mostly just a bassist and drummer, sometimes a pianist (played by nobodies like Thelonious Monk).   Most recordings from the middle of last century feature bass and drums that sound like they were played in the room next door to the studio microphones--at times here, though, the recording sounds close to modern.  However, this isn't a drum 'n' bass album, this is a Charlie Parker collection, and his saxophone rings loud and true.  His technical skills and gift for improvisation are obvious on each of these songs, and even someone who cares about jazz like I care about sweater jeweling will most likely have to admit that this Best Of album sounds nice.  I admit that the previous sentence could be taken either way, and I don't care.
Also, Bebop is the punk rock of jazz.

Also also, extra cool points for getting name dropped at the 4:15 mark of this Cowboy Bebop episode...along with Goethe.

 1995 Verve
1. Passport 3:01
2. Bloomdido 3:26
3. Leap Frog 2:30
4. Relaxing With Lee 2:48
5. Au Privave 2:40
6. She Rote 3:07
7. K.C. Blues 3:25
8. Star Eyes 3:36
9. Blues For Alice 2:48
10. Swedish Schnapps 3:12
11. The Song Is You 2:58
12. Laird Baird 2:46
13. Kim 3:00
14. Chi Chi 3:03
15. Now's the Time 3:02
16. Confirmation 2:58

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