Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bird-watcher: Thinking about Charlie Parker, every day.

By David Remnick in the May 19, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.
"Every weekday for the past twenty-seven years, a long-in-the-tooth history major named Phil Schaap has hosted a morning program on WKCR, Columbia University’s radio station, called “Bird Flight,” which places a degree of attention on the music of the bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker that is so obsessive, so ardent and detailed, that Schaap frequently sounds like a mad Talmudic scholar who has decided that the laws of humankind reside not in the ancient Babylonian tractates but in alternate takes of “Moose the Mooche” and “Swedish Schnapps.”

For Schaap, Bird not only lives; he is the singular genius of mid-century American music, a dynamo of virtuosity, improvisation, harmony, velocity, and feeling, and no aspect of his brief career is beneath consideration..."
Click here to read a truly great piece, not on Charlie Parker but on what it means to live with obsession...

But at least you should have a Bird-inspired soundtack:

Charlie Parker: Lover Man
from Verve Jazz Masters 15

Johnny Smith: Lover Man
from Walk, Don't Run!

Jimmy Smith: Lover Man
from The Sermon!