Tune into Journeys into Jazz on Wednesday afternoon for a Charlie “Bird” Parker centennial tribute. The bebop pioneer was born on August 29th, 1920 and is renowned as one of the most important musicians in the development of jazz.
Journeys into Jazz kicks off with a few of Bird’s early recordings, the 78s: Parker with Slim Gaillard, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. The early years are put into historical context with clips from a 1954 interview he did with fellow alto player Paul Desmond. Parker comes across as warm and thoughtful, touching on his association with Dizzy, the meaning of success and many other topics.
Despite the problems with drugs and booze that led to his premature death in 1955, Parker composed bebop standards based on popular songs that have stood the test of time. Our show features a set of jazz vocalists singing those songs in tandem with Parker’s compositions as well as a set with sax players influenced by Bird, such as Dexter Gordon, John Griffin, Phil Woods with Greg Abate, Eric Dolphy, Sonny Criss, Jimmy Heath, Frank Morgan and Lucky Thompson.
Listen for “Confirmation”, “Ko-Ko”, “Kim”, “Salt Peanuts”, “Groovin’ High”, “Bloomdido”, and a sampling of the blues as played by Parker plus Bird with a big band and with strings. On Journeys into Jazz, hosted by Chuck France, this Wednesday from 2-5p. (This show is dedicated to the memory of Joe Segal, who set aside every August as “Charlie Parker month” at his Jazz Showcase in Chicago.)