Charlie Parker: Parker's Mood


Parker's Mood


Charlie Parker (alto sax)


Best of the Complete Savoy & Dial Studio Recordings (Savoy SVY 17120)

Buy Track


Charlie Parker (alto sax), John Lewis (piano), Curly Russell (bass), Max Roach (drums).

Composed by Charlie Parker


Recorded: September 18, 1948


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Birdís playing on "Parkerís Mood" is often referred to as the greatest saxophone solo ever recorded. Parker opens with a fanfare, and John Lewis follows with a piano intro. Then Parker maintains a constant thread throughout, sustaining the songís tension and purity, never doubling back or repeating a phrase. Lewisí solo features touches of Bud Powellís lush technique, and Parker returns on the back end, winding down the tune and ending with the same opening fanfare. But Lewis has the final say, finishing oddly on an unresolved chord. Bird is completely exposed here, and his emotional pain is all too evident. Five years later, in December 1953, King Pleasure added words to the song, grimly foreshadowing Parkerís own funeral. "Parkerís Mood" remains one of Birdís most lyrical and enduring blues lines.

Reviewer: Marc Myers

Tags: · · · ·

  • 1 Ricardo Werther // Mar 11, 2008 at 12:52 AM
    Hi! First of all, congrats about the blog. Very informative! I have a doubt about Parker's Mood lyrics: I discovered another version by Eddie Jefferson's 1961 album called "Letter From Home" and its words are completely different than King Pleasure's one. You can listen a part of it at the link above. It makes me very confused, 'cause I thought King's version was the only one made. At least it is the more 'popular' version... Please, could you clarify it for me and, if possible, tell me where do I find these "new" Parker's Mood lyrics? Thanks in advance, Cheers, Ricardo Werther
  • 2 Josie // Nov 16, 2008 at 03:28 AM
    Hello, In response to your comment on 03.11.08: I followed the link you listed for Parker's Mood. Eddie Jefferson was very popularly known for an original scat style of jazz, in which he would use lyrics that were different from the original. The lyrics he used were always positive, and respectful to the artist. He is a favorite of mine! Hope this helps. Blessings in Christ to you and yours, Josie
  • 3 jbmanz // Jan 23, 2009 at 12:50 AM
    Hello all. Parker's Mood was also re-recorded with lyrics by Kevin Mahogany (Parker's Mood/Kansas City).. There are at least two fantastic renditions of this version floating around out there somewhere - love these lyrics!