Urban legend has it that the Kansas City native, alto saxophonist and legend, Charlie Parker, copped the nickname “Bird” (shortened from “Yardbird”) due to his hankering for southern fried chicken.
We’ll buy that; and while that finger-licking dish comes from a bird that rambles close to the ground, the self-taught virtuoso of American jazz who heard chord structures and rhythm like no one else blew ingenious riffs that soared high. Way high. High enough to tickle the jazz angels. That’s why a tribute evening presented at the end of this month by CAP UCLA, Fly Higher: Charlie Parker at 100 celebrates one of the most innovative and influential artists in modern musical history and examines his impact on pop, hip hop, rap, rock and jazz.
Co-musical directors Rudresh Mahanthappa and Terri Lyne Carrington honor Charlie Parker’s centennial year by showcasing his uncompromising musical joy, humor and beauty, mining his deep repertoire and showcasing new, modern compositions. Rather than imitating the original, Fly Higher strives to forward the artform by developing new perspectives on tradition.
Mahanthappa (alto saxophone) and Carrington (drums) will be joined by Charenée Wade (vocals), Adam O’Farrill (trumpet), Kris Davis (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass) and Kassa Overall (dj) for this extraordinary musical tribute to an American master.
Above, a classic, “Billie’s Bounce,” is a composition written in 1945 by Charlie Parker in the form of a 12 bar F blues. It was dedicated to Billy Shaw. Personnel for the recording session,
Fly Higher: Charlie Parker at 100 | CAP UCLA | Royce Hall | Mar 26