Bird at 100

Various thoughts and musings on Bird occasioned by the 100th anniversary of his birth. "Confirmation" "Fine and Dandy" "This Time the Dream's On Me" Three Rare Blues Performances Recorded & Unrecorded Bird Synchronic Bird Superlative Bird Pres & Bird

November 2020 Streaming

  *** ed note: Past shows are now archived at the  Streaming page  for 5 bucks a pop.  In the interest of making shows more accessible, we're now streaming them on-demand  à la YouTube/Netflix/Criterion Channel for a week at a time each Friday through Thursday (still 3 USD for the week's access).  In honor of the release of my second trio album, (Un)seaworthy , at the end of the month, the album release stream will be free. We'll be on hiatus in December, but the streaming archive will still be up for your listening pleasure. Buy your tickets and view the performances here .

October 2020 Streaming Live

*** ed note: Past shows are now archived at the Streaming page for 5 bucks a pop.  We're back again for October, this time with an additional Sunday afternoon matinee at 2 PM EDT. Tickets are still 3 USD per show and give you access for all three set times per weekend (8 PM on Friday and Saturday nights, plus Sunday). Buy your tickets and view the performances here .

September 2020 Streaming Live Schedule

  I tested the internet streaming waters two weeks ago with a Bird centennial show, which featured some arrangements of Charlie Parker's music that I'd been tinkering with during the quarantine. Live gigs aren't coming back anytime soon as far as I can tell, so the next best thing aside from meditating and self-care is playing music. 

Musings on Bird, IV: Pres & Bird

Off the cuff notes and thoughts on Bird, Part IV: Bird said, “Prez laughs when I tell him that I’m a fan of his and have been for years. I used to sit under a platform in Kansas City and listen for hours, because I loved the man. Prez would say, ‘You’re a fan of mine?’” — Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker , Robert Reisner "Bird never talked about music, except one time I heard him arguing with a classical musician friend of mine.  He told the cat that you could do anything with chords. I disagreed, told him that you couldn’t play D natural on the fifth bar of a B flat blues. He said you could.  One night later on at Birdland, I heard Lester Young do it, but he bent the note. Bird was there when it happened he just looked over at me with that 'I told you so' look that he would lay on you when he had proved you wrong."  — Miles Davis,  The Autobiography  (with Quincy Troupe) When Bird came back to Kansas City from the Ozarks he had so grown musically that he began to g

Musings on Bird, III: Superlative Bird

Off the cuff notes and thoughts on Bird, Part III: Photo by William Gottlieb, Three Deuces, NYC, ca. 1947, public domain It's hard to say with confidence what the "most ______" of Bird's recorded output is without comprehensively surveying the territory, which is fairly well-defined at this point, but would still require at least 72 hours of time on hand and access to the complete discography.  I believe I've heard most of the publicly available recordings, although there are still a number of recordings that I haven't been able to get a hold of—most  notably tunes from a spring 1951 performance supposedly in Boston, as well as a quartet performance as part of Jazz at the Philharmonic from November 1948. What surprised me most wasn't any single holy grail-type recording, but instead the consistency of the entire body of work, which is almost unerringly excellent and many times great. 

Musings on Bird, II: Synchronic Bird

    Off the cuff notes and thoughts on Bird, Part II: William Gottlieb, ca. 1948, public domain One rewarding diversion for me during the quarantine has been comparing the trove of alternate takes of Bird on Dial, Savoy, and Verve (Mercury). Rather than just listening to the takes in sequence or alternating back and forth, I took a page from Phil Schaap's book and tried to listen to some of the takes at the same time to see how similar or different Bird's solo arcs would be.