In the 1940s, Charlie Parker, nicknamed "Bird," was a prime mover behind the new style of bebop, with its refined harmonies, offbeat rhythms and abstract melodies played at breakneck speed. On Bird Songs, Joe Lovano looks for new ways into Parker's material.
Photographer William Claxton got his start taking photos of jazz musicians in natural settings instead of smoky lounges. His 1967 film Basic Black was considered the first fashion video. He died Oct. 11 from congestive heart failure.
Jackie McLean, the legendary jazz saxophonist who died last week at age 74, began playing at the age of 15 in his native New York City. Schooled in bebop at the start of his career, the alto sax player names Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Charlie Parker as influences. We offer a rebroadcast of a conversation with McLean.
Jazz trumpeter Red Rodney. Rodney's played with the greats...Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Charlie Parker, among many others. He was one of the first white trumpeters to show a grasp for bebop. He died in 1994. (REBROADCAST from 6/15/90)
Jazz musicians Red Rodney and Sonny Sharrock. They're both important jazz figures who recently died. We will rebroadcast previous interviews with both Rodney was a trumpeter and band leader. He rose through the big band ranks and played in Charlie Parker's quintet. He was known as one of jazz's best improvisers. And he was known for regaling journalists with his stories-- often of dubious veracity. (Rebroadcast of 6/15/1990)
Drummer Charlie Watts. For a quarter century, Watts has been the drummer for the rock band The Rolling Stones. Watts has also had a life-long love for jazz, particularly the jazz of Charlie Parker. Watts has put together a jazz combo that pays homage to Parker, called "From One Charlie," and he's written a kid's book about Parker, called "Ode to a Highflying Bird." (Both are published by UFO Records in England). (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)