Charlie Parker: Parker's Mood

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.

March 04, 2008 · 3 comments


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