126—How Charlie Parker’s Music Changed My Life
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Thomas Mirus goes solo in this episode to talk about how his relationship to music was completely transformed in his late teens, by exposure to the music of alto saxophonist Charlie Parker. Before he had used music to stimulate an emotional response, but soon he found himself listening for the sake of musical beauty itself, regardless of emotions or lack thereof. This quickly opened up a whole world of contemplation (musical and otherwise).
After discussing this deeper way of listening to music, Thomas explains how to follow the musical form of a jazz performance, and introduces the music of Charlie Parker and the new form of jazz he pioneered in the 1940s and early 50s, known as bebop.
If you want to listen more extensively to the jazz artists heard in this episode, check out these albums (no links because these things are always going in and out of print in different compilations):
Charlie Parker, listen to the complete Savoy and Dial master takes in whatever compilation you can find
Bud Powell, Jazz Giant
Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street
Sonny Rollins Plus Four
Music heard in this episode:
Blind Lemon Jefferson, “Rising High Water Blues” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsFNi0ZVzj4
Charlie Parker, “Perhaps” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LOOvq1sJvw
Charlie Parker, “Blues for Alice” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7USMqAH8qk
Charlie Parker, “Parker’s Mood” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wa7El-k3jQ
Charlie Parker, “Anthropology” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HkFBT4h190
Bud Powell, “So Sorry Please” from Jazz Giant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-IoDXFWr1c&list=PL9C4lRUjCkCt_oXThX81D3LhhRIUXVDqb&index=6
Clifford Brown and Max Roach, “Gertrude’s Bounce” from At Basin Street https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ7TdrmmDkc&list=PLUJ7V33M1wR3yDePSuvG8W1LmV3uuPg-S&index=8
Sonny Rollins, “Pent-Up House” from Plus Four https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INeqyCTvm4s&list=OLAK5uy_k6jR4wR5XEIyRL95Ov95VXhkYkAKQZIfw
Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus.
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