Two significant jazz musician birthdays came and went recently – Lester “Prez” Young’s 100th birthday was on August 27th, and Charlie “Bird” Parker’s 89th was on August 29th. These two genius musical minds were honored by two of our current crop of musical heavies.
Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus spent the last six months writing a 10-part treatise on Prez, which is astounding in its scope and depth. It features a listening session with Lee Konitz, a crazy amount of transcriptions and mp3’s, remembrances from Tootie Heath, Benny Golson and Jimmy Heath, discussion about Young’s influence on Miles Davis and much, much more. Check it out at his awesome blog Do The Math.
Saxophonist Steve Coleman has written an equally impressive article on Bird, which features in-depth analysis of 10 Parker classics. Coleman talks of Parker as a “spontaneous composer” and looks not only at his harmonic genius but his rhythmic acumen as well. Read the full article at Jazz.com.
If you are a jazz fan these are must-reads. They are quite lengthy, but are great examples of how blogging can contribute greatly to the study and enjoyment of jazz music.