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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Jazz

Vincent Herring, Bobby Watson & Gary Bartz

Bird At 100

Vincent Herring Bobby Watson & Gary Bartz Bird At 100
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August 29, 2020 will mark the centennial of one of jazz’s most iconic figures, Charlie Parker. The celebration gets off to a jubilantly swinging start with an alto saxophone summit bringing together three of modern jazz’s most acclaimed voices: Vincent Herring, Bobby Watson and Gary Bartz. Along with a superb rhythm section, the three distinctive altoists pay tribute to Parker’s legacy in the most apt fashion for this ground-breaking pioneer: by carrying his innovations forward in their own utterly singular styles.

The soul-stirring "Bird at 100" traces a direct lineage from Parker’s birthplace in Kansas City to the stage of Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, where these three influential acolytes look back from the vantage point of jazz in 2019, with a combination of reverence, respect and adventure. The program offers a buoyant mix of classic Parker tunes, familiar standards once recorded by Bird (and the generations since) and new compositions written in honor of the master.

The three are ably backed on "Bird at 100" by a rhythm section that has deeply imbibed the entire sweep of that history: pianist David Kikoski, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, and drummer Carl Allen. All three are regular collaborators with Herring, thus bringing a well-established chemistry to this all-star outing.

“The influence of Charlie Parker is a constant thread that runs through all of us,” says Herring, who brainstormed the date. “It’s amazing how much Charlie Parker has touched so many different people in their pursuit of music. We certainly take in other influences as well, and of course we all hope to put our own stamp on it, but Bird is always there through his vocabulary and his way of interpreting of the music.”

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