David Kikoski Part Two| From Bob Berg to Charlie Parker (E42)
Do you know these names?: Bob Berg. The Manhattan Transfer. Walter Becker. Nino Rota. Jake Bayard, Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker. These are big names in the world of American jazz music. And we cover them all (in one way or another) in this episode two of our four (!) part series with Dave Kikoski.
100 Records, Walking with Jazz Giants, Many Sides to this Dave Kikoski
It is a true joy to put these shows together with Dave. He has given so much in his career to jazz music and has performance and recording experiences that are incredible to hear. I’m glad you get to listen in on a fascinating conversation with a gifted musician.
Charlie Parker “Massey Hall”
A clap of thunder heralded the passing of Charlie “Bird” Parker. Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, who gave Parker refuge and comfort during his final days in her suite in the Hotel Stanhope on 5th Avenue in New York, recalled, “At the moment of his going, there was a tremendous clap of thunder. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I’ve thought about it often since; how strange it was.” One musician speculated that Parker disintegrated into “pure sound.”.
Charlie Parker had lived life to its fullest. Robert Reisner, a friend of Parker and author of Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker, observed, “Charlie Parker, in the brief span of his life, crowded more living into it than any other human being. He was a man of tremendous physical appetites. He ate like a horse, drank like a fish, was as sexy as a rabbit. He was complete in the world, was interested in everything. He composed, painted; he loved machines, cars; he was a loving father ….No one had such a love of life, and no one tried harder to kill himself….” Dr. Richard Freymann, the attendant physician during Parker’s final days at the Stanhope Hotel, judged him fifty-three years old. He was thirty-four at the time of his death.
Parker’s early death came as no surprise to those who knew him well. After becoming hooked on heroin at the age of sixteen, he struggled with drug addiction, alcohol abuse and mental illness for the rest of his life. Over the years, his massive consumption of alcohol and drugs ravaged his already fragile physical and mental health. Bandleader Jay McShann observed, “I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. The way he was goin’ with that dope and all. He could only last so long.”
During his short life, Parker changed the course of music. Like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, he was a pioneering composer and improviser who ushered in a new era of jazz and influenced subsequent generations of musicians, writers and artists.
Jazz historian Martin Williams judged that Parker influenced “everyone.” In 1965, jazz pianist Lennie Tristano observed that, “If Charlie Parker wanted to invoke plagiarism laws; he could sue almost everybody who’s made a record in the last ten years.”
His albums as a leader reflect a large variety of musical Born in Kansas City, Kansas on August 29, 1920, Parker cut his musical teeth hanging out in the alleyways behind the nightclubs lining 12th Street in Kansas City, Missouri where Count Basie, Lester Young, Mary Lou Williams and other jazz legends engaged in marathon jam sessions.
Tracks included in order of appearance.
|Artist / Album
|Chanson Du Bebe
|The Manhattan Transfer / The Chick Corea Songbook
|Chick Corea / Return to Forever
|Bob Berg, David Kikoski / Enter the Spirit
|David Kikoski (Prod. Walter Becker) / Persistent Dreams
|Steely Dan / Aja
|Mingus Big Band / Nostalgia in Times Square
|Jaki Bayard / Amarcord Nino Rota
|Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie / Every Bit of It (Jazz and Massey Hall)
A PLAYLIST NOTE
Enjoying the ride, the back and forth, the insights… the fun.