Music Review: ‘The Passion of Charlie Parker’

This album of reimagined Charlie Parker charts transports the listener in a time travel through the up and downs of Bird’s life. Through his greatest works as performed by some of today’s top Jazz artists, ‘The Passion of Charlie Parker’, is a beautiful tribute to arguably the most influential saxophonist in history.

I was sitting at work, doing my third round of report corrections (as if you hadn’t already noticed it was that time of year by all the teacher posts on Facebook), and as usual to make the time pass a little easier I was on listening to the smooth sounds of Jazz on Apple Music.  This album popped up as ‘A suggestion for You’ and man am I glad it did. 

With most of Parker’s best charts covered and reimagined by today’s top Jazz vocalists, the lyrics added to each of these iconic songs sets a new fire under the passion that once burnt bright in those that spent their University days digesting the Omnibook.

Brilliant storytelling, masterfully programed as to take the listener on the journey of Bird’s life.  Well worth listening, I even dusted off the old Omnibook for my practice this afternoon. 

Although a little slower than the original bebop tempos, the lyric fluency certainly makes up what the tempo has lost. 

I will leave you with a few of my favourite Parker quotes I wrote in the front of that book. 

If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.
They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.
Don’t play the saxophone. Let it play you.

You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.

David George
‘The Passion of Charlie Parker’ was digitally released on June 16 and is set to be released on CD on the 23rd June.

Available on Apple Music or USA iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-passion-of-charlie-parker/id1235932126
Available for Pre-order at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Passion-Charlie-Parker-VARIOUS-ARTISTS/dp/B06XRYXWBY

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