Friday, May 12, 2006

Charlie Parker- Laura

Laura left.

I've been writing about my renewed love for strings in jazz recently. It's time I finally addressed the big one, the recordings that continue to roil jazz fans over 55 years after the fact. Did Charlie Parker, arguably jazz's greatest improvisational genius, sell out? Or were these lush recordings an inevitable extension of his exploratory nature? This romantic 1950 reading of "Laura" answers those questions, at least for me. At the two minute mark I sense that Parker, surely distraught over that hideous oboe solo, is prepared to unleash a potentially revolutionary new idea, but he pulls up short. Oh well, there's nothing wrong with just being pretty.

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