Charlie Parker--c/d?

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hmmm....

adaml (adaml), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 00:46 (seventeen years ago) link

And while we're at it, could we do an S&D as well? There is a humongous amount of Parker material out there - or maybe it's a relatively small amount of Parker material that's been repackaged in a gazillion different ways - but it's still very hard to know where the good stuff is. I know about the Dial & Savoy sessions, but what about other stuff? Any recommended live sets? Also, what is the best recorded Parker stuff out there? I know that when you listen to artists from this period you have to be willing to accept a step down in recording quality, but it would be nice to know if there's any particular recordings that really stand out from the pack sound-wise.

o. nate (onate), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 00:56 (seventeen years ago) link

i am def not an expert when it comes to Parker, but i think most people who have nothing usually start with the "Yardbied Suite" two-disc set on rhino, and also "live at massey hall" released under the name The Quintet, a group that consisted of Parker, Gillespie, Bud Powell, Mingus and Max Roach. if sound quality is a concern, you should spend the extra dollar or two and get the 20-bit remaster. i have those and that is all so far as, even though parker is very classic, i really cant get into early bop, and i dont know why.

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 06:44 (seventeen years ago) link

The only Parker I think anybody really needs is a 2-CD set of the complete Savoy & Dial master takes. I have an 8-CD set of the complete Savoy & Dial recordings, outtakes included, but I burned the master takes to CD-R and never take out the box. If, once you've heard those two CDs, you want a little more, the album Bird & Diz (with Thelonious Monk on piano, and Buddy Rich on surprisingly well-suited drums) is good, too. But generally, I too don't really enjoy bebop. I love hard bop from the 1950s, and lots of other stuff after that, but the 1940s (both bebop and big-band swing, the latter in particular) do nothing for me.

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 14:24 (seventeen years ago) link

I have best-ofs on Verve, Dial, & Savoy (3 CDs total) plus the Quintet record and I'm satisified. Those ought to at least get you started.

Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 14:35 (seventeen years ago) link

avoid Live at the Hi-Hat...not his best moment.

thomas de'aguirre (biteylove), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 16:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Here's what I've got:

Complete Dial Sessions - This is the relatively inexpensive 4-cd set on Definitive, with all of the alternative takes. A few observations: Recording quality is fair to poor. Bird's solos are different on each take - and frequently the alternative takes are just as enjoyable if not more so than the master take. Playing this straight through is tedious, because all of the takes are sequential - so unless you like hearing 4 versions of one tune in a row, you'll need to program your CD player creatively, which makes this a bit of a hassle for casual listening.

Ken Burns Jazz: Charlie Parker - This is a pretty listenable 1-cd survey of Parker's recording career: from early side-man dates, through seminal recordings with Diz, essential sides, and later work such as the album with strings. A good overview for the first-time buyer.

Here's what I had but sold:

Bird at St. Nick's - Sounds like it was probably an amazing gig, but the recording quality is atrocious. In fact, since the guy taping the show had a limited amount of tape (tape recorders were a new and exotic technology at that time), he basically only recorded Bird's solos! So unless you want to hear a bunch of solos spliced together, avoid this.

o. nate (onate), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 17:05 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't have a lot of Bird for how much I love listening to him, but 'Bird's Best Bop on Verve' is a fantastic comp. The sound and performances are great, as is the tune selection. Good mix of groups as well--Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Diz, Monk, Al Haig, etc. pop up.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 17:20 (seventeen years ago) link

the only charlie parker album i have is in a soulful mood,which i really like but i have no idea how representative it is of the rest of his stuff...
i was reading ian penman's book the other day and he was talking about the film bird,it sounds really really good,has anyone seen it?

robin (robin), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 17:31 (seventeen years ago) link

I like the film, though I haven't seen it for awhile. Forest Whitaker is the shit, and they did a really good job of taking Charlie Parker's original recorded solos and laying new rhythm tracks behind them (so it doesn't sound like an old record playing during the performance scenes).

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 17:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Search: The Dial stuff (the cream used to be available on two separate CDs volumes with a minimum of alternate takes for maximum listening-without-having-to-program enjoyment)
Destroy: Charlie Parker with Strings (some people rave about this record, but I can't imagine why)

Lee G (Lee G), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 19:14 (seventeen years ago) link

Or, rather, Classic and Dud.

Lee G (Lee G), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 19:19 (seventeen years ago) link

i have the 4cd "roost" radio sessions (they are individually packaged). i got the for 8 dollars apiece as part of a closeout sale. i'm going to have to say *DESTROY* here, too much annoying radio banter, too many inessential outtakes. there are plenty enough 1 and 2 cd distillations of this material to choose from, but do try to get one with tracks from the christmas and new year's eve shows, the players sound joyously drunk.

i love love love "swedish schnapps" out of proportion to it's merits.

vahid (vahid), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 19:21 (seventeen years ago) link

In the UK, Proper do a good-to-great sounding 4 CD set called 'Boss Bird' that collects together the best of Parker's pre-1951, out-of-copyright Savoy, Dial etc. sides - no alt. takes or muffly live cuts, just the real deal swinging superfast Bop stuff, with a helpful booklet to boot. You can currently get this box for under a tenner in central London shops!

There's also a gd dbl CD set called 'Confirmation' that collects together the best of the still-in-copyright Verve studio dates. The sound is superb, crisp and creamy - just as it is on that 'Bird and Diz' single disc that Phil Freeman mentioned.

One way into Parker: compare and contrast him w/ Ornette Coleman.

Another way: it's great music to dance to!

Andrew L (Andrew L), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 21:55 (seventeen years ago) link

classic classic classic!!! he's what every saxophonist wishes they could sound like. his lines are just so swooping and gorgeous -- listen to his solos on "now's the time" and "confirmation" and hear one man's soul pouring out of his horn

listen to eric dolphy channel bird on his solo on the title cut of the album "out there"

gfgd, Tuesday, 28 October 2003 22:18 (seventeen years ago) link

Another way: compare and contrast him on the same tunes as pre-bop artists, i.e. doing How High the Moon, What is this Thing Called Love?, I Got Rhythm, or better yet a blues versus how Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, or even someone like Beny Goodman would play it. I think it's important to be able to realize both how amazingly modern he sounded at the time and what utter control he had of all his ideas, as opposed to hearing him in relation to everything he influenced (as in, every jazz musician after him) and saying 'oh, sounds like jazz' or whatever.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 22:28 (seventeen years ago) link

i think Braxton's "Charlie Parker Project" on hat/hut is one of his best projects, with the right independent personnel. It allowed that music to crossover for me, and so i enjoyed some tracks for the first time, and with stuff like "Oscar for Treadwell" included at the lesser expense of many more well known tracks, conveyed that bent Parker humour.
It sent me back for the originals, which i subsequently enjoyed more the way they were intended (i hope).

Paul Bley's "BeBopBeBopBeBopBeBop" on Steeplechase was just as useful (even if not overlapping with Braxton, which nonetheless meant more), and crossing over to piano, again sent me back albeit differently again, to the originals.

Parker's music had previously not interested me. I felt i just wasn't the right generation. The pop songs the bebop people covered were stuff my parents had heard of but disliked, and to me all those old songs seemed they were all painfully american hit-machine cynical crap, so the bebop makeovers will never crossover for me as i just can't get to those industrial originals.

So i say, somehow get to the Parker originals.

george gosset (gegoss), Tuesday, 28 October 2003 23:55 (seventeen years ago) link

but parker "originals" were for the most part just pop chord progressions with heads that he wrote! and even his heads were basically just solos, albeit written down. this is not to say that they aren't grebt of course

fdsj, Wednesday, 29 October 2003 02:01 (seventeen years ago) link

well, not being a fan of those pop songs, i never made it through them to hear the original changes, finding them unlistenable upon finding them.

so i'm quite happy with the so-called originals, the way in to them in my case not being the bebop of the day or the original songs, but those recent re-rehashes.

so Koko = Cherokee, i'm told -- maybe i'll never appreciate all the humour of the "songs" revived up by Parker -- it's my generation man, i have to go backwards.

george gosset (gegoss), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 02:52 (seventeen years ago) link

i think there's a basic musicality in his work that should reveal itself despite the passing of several generations of parker-inspired saxophonists.

amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 08:05 (seventeen years ago) link

i found the bebop sound so offputting as to disinterest me in _that_ saxophone, depite its 'canonisaton' and more importantly despite what it was doing
(new remastered or well mastered recordings _have_ helped hear it)
anyway, it's just my block with it, and i just think those others' projects might help people offput yet curious like me

george gosset (gegoss), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 08:24 (seventeen years ago) link

how would canonisation affect your listening one way or another?

there's no reason you have to get into him, chacun a son gout.

amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 08:26 (seventeen years ago) link

KoKo=Cherokee

and

Donna Lee=Back Home in Indiana

And yeah, most of Parker's originals are over some form of rhythm changes (i.e. changes to 'I Got Rhythm').

It would be hard to listen to a lot of jazz if you couldn't stand standards and their chord progressions.

I bet you don't listen to much Frank Sinatra then, George? :>

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 14:40 (seventeen years ago) link

i sort of like what i've got or properly heard so far. it's fun. i'm taking it slowly, because his ouput was somewhat finite. but i have collected the original songs and try to listen to them.

the songs may have been part of some canon that was being dismantled by Parker and co. and for that reason the canon of earlier songs, or just the ones he targeted for whatever reasons, that's fun. but i don't care if his choice leads to a canon of Parkers or that that would be of any use in his case.
what was it about those songs that made him canonise him ? if the song chord changes and timings are only 3/10 Parker compositions, i'll still enjoy Parker's sped up versions more.

Admittedly his music can be like experiencing the world view conveyed by Harry Partch.

george gosset (gegoss), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 15:07 (seventeen years ago) link

CP is awesome...but whatever it is that popists like, he's the antithesis of it. But I could listen to him all day. For the most part, I find him a lot more listenable than Diz, but I'm a trumpet player, and Diz's tone always bothered me. Clifford Brown runs this mutherfucker.

ddrake, Wednesday, 29 October 2003 15:15 (seventeen years ago) link

CB=the best that evah was, for sure.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 15:26 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, I'll take Clifford Brown (and Lee Morgan, too) over Dizzy in a heartbeat.

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 15:34 (seventeen years ago) link

two years pass...
anyone has a favourite solo?

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 19 November 2005 19:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Koko is my shit.

The pop songs the bebop people covered were stuff my parents had heard of but disliked, and to me all those old songs seemed they were all painfully american hit-machine cynical crap, so the bebop makeovers will never crossover for me as i just can't get to those industrial originals.

-- george gosset (ggosse...), October 28th, 2003.

but parker "originals" were for the most part just pop chord progressions with heads that he wrote!

Both of these statements are slightly off mark. I can't get inside the head of Charlie Parker, but I think it's pretty safe to say that the beboppers had a sense of irony about what they were doing in taking pop standards and blowing the shit out of them (keep in mind that bebop soloing really sounded like noise to a lot of people at the time.)

Also, it's not *quite* right to say Parker just took the changes and wrote new melodies, because he often expanded on the changes and made them more harmonically intricate.

Abbadabba Berman (Hurting), Sunday, 20 November 2005 04:59 (fifteen years ago) link

I have an 8-CD set of the complete Savoy & Dial recordings, outtakes included, but I burned the master takes to CD-R and never take out the box.

I have this box, too, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in Parker. Some of the alternate takes feature better playing from Bird than the master takes, however.

My favorite Parker album, however, and the entry point that I would suggest to newcomers, is the self-titled Charlie Parker album on Verve. The CD reissue of it has a purple cover. This album features Parker on better form than the Savoy and Dial sides, imho.

John Hunter, Sunday, 20 November 2005 05:23 (fifteen years ago) link

I HEART C.P.

amon (eman), Sunday, 20 November 2005 07:12 (fifteen years ago) link

was he the first musical arteeste to cross the modart yes thats mod music divide? the hey - it looks like scribble! the "i'm mad me" card? "i'm seriously fcked up me" card.
(no i don't believe it was self conscious but hey...)

it makes great art doesn't it?

was he responsible for all the junkie musical "artists" to follow?

mullygrubbr (bulbs), Sunday, 20 November 2005 08:37 (fifteen years ago) link

man i love the post asylum stuff.

mullygrubbr (bulbs), Sunday, 20 November 2005 08:42 (fifteen years ago) link

The recent live disc from 1945 is great. The songs get stretched to the 5-7 minute range (no longer being confined to 78 sides), and the solos are that much more brilliant. A must-hear.

pdf (Phil Freeman), Sunday, 20 November 2005 14:30 (fifteen years ago) link

I have the complete Savoys (4CD). I never got into the Dial sides that much.

Addressing the question, I always thought the ideal introduction to Parker was Yardbird Suite, which is the only comp that I know of that incorporates stuff from all his record labels. This way you get to skim it all in two CDs., and figure out where the highs and lows are for you.

pdf, what's the name of the 1945 record?

Brakhage (brakhage), Sunday, 20 November 2005 15:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Gotcha - thanks.

Brakhage (brakhage), Sunday, 20 November 2005 15:35 (fifteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Does anyone listen to "Bird Flight" on WKCR? The concept of the show is Phil Schaap playing all of Bird's music in chronological order with requisite commentary. It's sort of become my drive time radio of choice (now that Howard Stern's moved to satellite heh..). Phil Schaap is kinda corny but ultimately I enjoy his history lessons and his level of detail and respect the passion. This morning (and the last few mornings) he's been playing Bird's first recordings as a leader with "Koko" (at one point they start to play "Cherokee" and the producer yells "hold it, stop" since it will be too long to fit on a record, hence altered to "Koko") "Anthropology" (aka "Thriving on a Riff"), "Meandering" (which is Parker working out a solo to "Embraceable You"), etc. Good radio, pretty interesting stuff.

mcd (mcd), Wednesday, 1 February 2006 16:10 (fifteen years ago) link

two years pass...

just got Charlie Parker: A Studio Chronicle (1940-1948) on JSP and it is making today a good day, musically anyway. i only had various parker comps before, but decided it was time to take the plunge. a cheap plunge, too! only set me back $20 for 5 CDs. the packaging (as is standard for JSP) isn't anything special, but the remastering sounds as good as anything.

hey speaking of those phil schaap shows -- are those archived anywhere?

tylerw, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 20:37 (twelve years ago) link

i can't believe someone made a C/D thread on Charlie Parker

funderwear (san frandisco), Tuesday, 7 October 2008 20:55 (twelve years ago) link

One way into Parker: compare and contrast him w/ Ornette Coleman.

Or Jimmy Lyons. I started backwards: got into Albert Ayler, late-period John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, then Bird. The problem with Bird was the problem with me: I was listening/waiting for things in his music that simply were not going to happen (like multiphonics). After a spell of listening to some particularly Lyons-heavy Cecil records, I came back to Bird. Not only did it suddenly make more sense to me, but the sheer drive of it was inescapable.

Formerly Painful Dentistry, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 23:10 (twelve years ago) link

One way into Parker: compare and contrast him w/ Ornette Coleman.

^^^i dont get this
ornette is way more out there than bird

joe 40oz (deej), Tuesday, 7 October 2008 23:12 (twelve years ago) link

is this more of that if-it-hurts-my-ears-its-good type shit, where avant garde stuff becomes easier to get into bcuz you were raised on edgy rock

joe 40oz (deej), Tuesday, 7 October 2008 23:13 (twelve years ago) link

i can't believe someone made a C/D thread on Charlie Parker

― funderwear (san frandisco)

I just came in here to say exactly that. Nothing is sacred.

Moka, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 04:30 (twelve years ago) link

Holy shit, Dentistry - my own path to Bird-fandom was nearly identical to yours.

Myonga Vön Bontee, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 07:05 (twelve years ago) link

If you're struggling to 'get' early bop and looking for a way in Ornette is not the way - Dolphy is the way in ... he's modern enough to maintain your interest and he quotes Bird so often that when you return to those Bird records you don't understand it will seem like you already know what going on. It's like going back to a song that a dj has sampled. You already know you like the sound, so just go enjoy the source.

On another note, ILM is constant reminder that I cannot tolerate reading other people's opinions. A Charlie Parker c/d, really?

Kublakhan61, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 12:31 (twelve years ago) link

A Charlie Parker c/d, really?
Honestly, why is everyone so surprised? It's like this with everyone here.
Oh, and classic.

Jazzbo, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 12:51 (twelve years ago) link

ornette is way more out there than bird

No shit! But in comparison to his predecessors, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, or any of the 1930s jazz musicians, Parker is way out there. I think you need to consider the context of the music and a frame of reference.

Charlie Parker is unarguably the single most important figure to jazz of the last century. Talk to any jazz musician and they will tell you that he was the pivotal in changing the face of jazz and most of anyone who has followed him have either quoted and taken from him or have adopted a direction contradictory to what he was about. Talk to any sax player and they will tell you his sound and technique are just as good if not better than any player to follow him.

An S/D thread maybe, but C/D, please.

Bomb Bomb Iran (san frandisco), Wednesday, 8 October 2008 17:51 (twelve years ago) link

frame = point

Bomb Bomb Iran (san frandisco), Wednesday, 8 October 2008 17:52 (twelve years ago) link

Charlie Parker is unarguably the single most important figure to jazz of the last century.
Um, ever hear of a guy named Louis Armstrong? He was a tad influential in jazz in particular and pop music in general. And then there's Miles, Monk, Duke, Ornette, etc.
I think you'd have plenty of arguments there.

Jazzbo, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 17:59 (twelve years ago) link

Your only argument might be for Louis Armstrong, who was pivotal for the advancement of jazz, but who was not doing things incredibly original harmonically. The manner in which Parker harmonically advanced the style was unparalleled.

I'm not saying those people weren't influential but they have not done for jazz what Charlie Parker has and perhaps I should rephrase my statement. With respect to soloing and improvisation, I still hold Charlie Parker is unarguably the single most important figure in jazz. Duke and Monk opened up compositional avenues previously unexplored, I agree. And the direction Miles and Ornette took jazz away from bop was incredible, but they were moving in a contradictory direction to what Parker had already established.

Bomb Bomb Iran (san frandisco), Wednesday, 8 October 2008 18:15 (twelve years ago) link

but who was not doing things incredibly original harmonically

uh, they were pretty original at the time

Jordan, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 18:25 (twelve years ago) link

i shouldn't have even gotten into this, the point is, its obnoxiously naive and moreover fucking retarded to even have a c/d thread on parker. s/d ok, but whatevs, i don't want to argue who is better or more influential because i love all the musicians mentioned.

Bomb Bomb Iran (san frandisco), Wednesday, 8 October 2008 18:29 (twelve years ago) link

Louis Armstrong ... was not doing things incredibly original harmonically
Sure, Bird sounds more out there today, but Armstrong was doing things harmonically that were revolutionary for his times. I'd argue that his 1920s solos were more mind-blowing in their day than Parker's were in the 40s.
And as much as I love Parker, he didn't singlehandedly direct all of these harmonic changes in jazz. Diz, Charlie Christian, Monk and others were right in the mix as well — they were all learning from each other at Minton's. Parker gets more of the credit because he was probably the most accomplished musician (and the biggest fuck-up). Christian didn't live long enough and Monk's music didn't catch on until years later.

its obnoxiously naive and moreover fucking retarded to even have a c/d thread on parker.
Again, this is ILM!

Jazzbo, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 18:48 (twelve years ago) link

armstrong, parker and ellington kinda stand above the rest dudes, incl monk and miles

joe 40oz (deej), Wednesday, 8 October 2008 18:52 (twelve years ago) link

i dont mean in terms of personal preference, but in terms of causing major shifts in terms of how musicians were recording

joe 40oz (deej), Wednesday, 8 October 2008 18:53 (twelve years ago) link

i guess i sound kind of annoying there but im basing that on my understanding of consensus as much as my own observations - i might put coltrane above miles & monk as well

joe 40oz (deej), Wednesday, 8 October 2008 18:55 (twelve years ago) link

d-minor bagz, let's not fight about who was the biggest influence, who was the raddest, who had the sweetest tone, etc. let's just freak out about the fact that there are these awesome recordings of parker, monk, ellington, armstrong, et al that we can listen to OVER AND OVER. it's neat!

tylerw, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 19:22 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...
three years pass...

best fuckin musician of the 20th century. I assume he'd lose to Trane in an ilm sax poll and at that level of greatness it's hard to be really partisan but Christ almighty every time I put on some Charlie Parker these days I feel like I am listening to the greatest music ever made

Inconceivable (to the entire world) (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:20 (eight years ago) link

I'd definitely rate him in probably the top 2 or 3 most influential musicians of the 20th century.

o. nate, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:21 (eight years ago) link

I listen to more Coltrane, but I wouldn't fuss against any Parker vote.

The Jesus and Mary Lizard (WmC), Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:25 (eight years ago) link

mentioned it upthread but bears repeating -- Charlie Parker: A Studio Chronicle (1940-1948) is innnnnnnsane. the guy was incapable of making anything but brilliant sounds.

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:26 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Thanks for posting that! I was actually just wondering today what the status of that project was.

It looks good; actually can't wait to read it, even though I'm a little ambivalent about Crouch. He can be brilliant one moment, and then completely embarrass himself the next by, for instance, blindly trashing Miles' electric period or renouncing his avant-garde past (he came to NYC as David Murray's drummer, and actually acquits himself well on the Wildflowers comp). (though I doubt either of those two topics will come up in the Bird bios.)

punt cased (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 24 September 2013 02:21 (seven years ago) link

whoa, I had no idea about Crouch's career as an out drummer, kind of surprising. found this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXTC-sQR9r0

#fomo that's the motto (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 24 September 2013 02:40 (seven years ago) link

yeah crouch is obviously kind of a blowhard, but i dunno, i like that his parker bio will be feisty at least, as opposed to a dry academic thing.

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 September 2013 03:46 (seven years ago) link

Christgau digs it.

punt cased (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 24 September 2013 21:02 (seven years ago) link

hah, this is the season for first-part music biographies that don't even get to the good part (see lewisohn's beatles tome). still, sounds pretty cool, just ordered it.

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 September 2013 21:13 (seven years ago) link

Am about 20 pages into it, and totally digging it. It makes sense that it only goes up to 1942 considering the chronology starts at the 16th century.

hopping and bopping to the krokodil rot (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 7 October 2013 19:57 (seven years ago) link

haha, sounds great.
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/19/popcast-early-bird-and-kansas-city-lightning/?ref=music&_r=0
haven't gotten the book in the mail for some reason, but this interview is good. i dunno, crouch's writing can be didactic and off-putting at times, but whenever i hear/read an interview with him, i think he seems like a nice guy.

tylerw, Monday, 7 October 2013 20:02 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, whenever he's not expounding on What Jazz Is(n't), he's a great read/listen. In Montgomery Burns' Jazz he came up with this great description of Parker's sound, that it was "devoid of pity."

hopping and bopping to the krokodil rot (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 7 October 2013 20:13 (seven years ago) link

I naively assumed this bio wouldn't contain a flailing, predictably Crouchian, mis-timed swing at hip-hop. I was wrong.

Seriously, it's like he's trying to hit a ball thrown in the opposite direction.

hopping and bopping to the krokodil rot (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 11 October 2013 03:21 (seven years ago) link

"Montgomery Burns Jazz" still gets me every time -- who originated that?

#fomo that's the motto (Hurting 2), Friday, 11 October 2013 03:37 (seven years ago) link

I did. Welcome!

facepalm death (rattled), Friday, 11 October 2013 03:53 (seven years ago) link

good display name too

#fomo that's the motto (Hurting 2), Friday, 11 October 2013 03:54 (seven years ago) link

Hey, what? I was calling it that back in early 2000, when that shit first aired.

hopping and bopping to the krokodil rot (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 11 October 2013 03:57 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n02/ian-penman/birditis

great etc etc

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 16 January 2014 16:36 (seven years ago) link

excellent

beef in the new era (wins), Thursday, 16 January 2014 19:26 (seven years ago) link

True believers want to reclaim Parker from a now (as they see it) deeply degraded image, emphasising instead the dare and complexity of his music; this is already a gamble when many fair-weather fans tend to shut down at the first mention of flattened fifths and roving thirteenths. Even if you’ve loved this music for half a lifetime, you can find the algebraic lingo of jazz theory about as clarifying as a book of logarithms baked in mud.

This leapt out at me and it's indicative that other people on Twitter have cited this bit while linking. Can't go with this; you can't keep on talking or writing about jazz by thinking it's some aleatoric game of chance whose theories are arrived at by sheer luck and chutzpah. You HAVE to get in the technical knowledge; jazz isn't rock. "Algebraic lingo" sounds borderline racist too, i.e. how dare these uppity blacks have complicated ways of thinking up and playing music, who do they think they are, WHITE EUROPEANS?

Piece borders on "tl;dr" territory and no I wasn't inspired to go and listen to Bird after reading it. Perhaps reading the books themselves will persuade me.

With all due respect I'm inclined to think you "dr" the piece if that's what you think penman's getting at

beef in the new era (wins), Friday, 17 January 2014 13:55 (seven years ago) link

Jazz was pop.

He is saying the theory he has read as written by others on Parker's music doesn't elucidate the inner workings of it. But it isn't confined to black music; Penman reviewed the Merce Cunningham box a couple of years ago, wasn't shy of calling the sleeve notes academic or dry (but in a more readable, not as reactionary a manner, I don't have the article at the mo.) The important thing is, despite any lack of theory, I think the ear for music is working great whenever I read him - in that article, he got that David Tudor was the best of the lot in that set.

But yes, its hard to deny he has never had a lot of time for theory - its never played a role in the middle of one of his arguments of why Zappa is terrible or Tim Buckley is great - nor would you find him writing about his favourite solos were he reviewing a Parker box set instead of biogs. But that's ok, I don't agree that theory is the way to engage with this music, only a way.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 17 January 2014 15:08 (seven years ago) link

^yeah. I wasn't trying to be snarky, Marcello - well, plainly I was, because I'm in a crabbit mood. Your putting those words in the author's mouth just felt offensive & disingenuous to me. The review is about different critical approaches; it explains the reasons IP personally finds them unsatisfying, and argues for a new approach - this is a million miles away from saying that George Russell should have known his place or whatever nonsense you read into it. As xyzzz__ says, Penman has a pretty complete aesthetic sense and he applies it consistently to all music. I don't always agree with him (I'm largely in it for the writing, I wouldn't presume to argue w/you guys about the necessity of theory in jazz criticism or whatever) but you were being ridiculously unfair at the end of your 1st paragraph.

beef in the new era (wins), Friday, 17 January 2014 18:06 (seven years ago) link

he becomes better known for a ruinous pile-it-high lifestyle, for being the only addict pre-Fassbinder to get fatter, not thinner, as his habit deepens; for plunging into late decrepitude only to die in the lap of luxury, in a high-society eyrie belonging to the Rothschild child and ‘Jazz Baroness’, Pannonica de Koenigswarter.

Really? I always thought the popular perception of Charlie Parker included the fact thathe pushed jazz into headier, less pop-oriented territory and fucked with the audience's expectations from standards. I mean people who disliked bebop at the time usually thought it was "not melodic enough" or "too esoteric" or that sort of thing, I thought.

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Friday, 17 January 2014 18:17 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

One way into Parker: compare and contrast him w/ Ornette Coleman.

^^^i dont get this
ornette is way more out there than bird

― joe 40oz (deej), Tuesday, October 7, 2008 6:12 PM (6 years ago)

. . .

Yeah, whenever he's not expounding on What Jazz Is(n't), he's a great read/listen. In Montgomery Burns' Jazz he came up with this great description of Parker's sound, that it was "devoid of pity."

― hopping and bopping to the krokodil rot (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, October 7, 2013 3:13 PM (1 year ago)

yeah it's not the out-there-ness, it's the free, cutting lyric lines, just playing these little songs that slice through everything

there's some place where nietzsche is doing his usual thing and posturing a lot, and distancing himself from his past views on art (lots of affiliation w/ romanticism via wagner in them), and he says something about how all he wants for music now is like rossini or something, not all this heaviness. 'devoid of pity' reminds me of that.

j., Thursday, 16 July 2015 03:13 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

listening to live earlier stuff in the car this morning & then to some Verve stuff after getting home -- the way his melodic phrases always carry on a few bars beyond the central hook (specifically thinking of "Ornithology" here), they're like paragraphs, really chewy paragraphs with dependent clauses, or like listening to somebody talk and make clever asides while making a vital point

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Friday, 30 April 2021 13:29 (one week ago) link


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