Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- BIRD LIVES!

Bird Lives! Interesting how something can stay in your mind lifelong. Each person has been touched by the genius of Charlie Parker in different ways. So many different inspiring stories I've heard and I've read. Not to mention all the amazing music. I always wish I could of heard Bird live, also wish I could of heard him on tenor live as that's something Don Lanphere spoke of to me a lot.


Around 1970… I saw this movie in Cambridge Massachusetts called "Murmur or the heart".. there is some nice Bird playing in the soundtrack, and the movie itself.. I thought I'd bring it to a few peoples attention- whether or not they know about it or have any interest in checking out the movie, I've seen it on and off on YouTube too. But in any case now you know about it.

The other aspect of Charlie Parker that always stuck in my mind… was his interest to study with Edgar Varese. That always stuck in my mind, had it materialized one can only imagine were music would've went. He was obviously more than familiar with Varese. What drove the point home even further, and I think about this a lot, was at one point saxophonist ( and one of pioneers of the jazz oboe) Dick Hafer had relayed a very interesting story. Dick Hafer known Parker, from various things that he did with Woody Herman ( Bird with the Herd) and of course just being on the scene at that time.Dick told me the story about a conversation that he was a part of with Bird and Varese after a gig, hanging in NYC. Dick also told me Bird dug Stefan Wolpe It seems Charlie Parker had a real interest in those free forms and expanded composition directions combining a structure and freedom together. Hafer was also a woodwind player-who played or oboe and English horn as well as saxes, flute and clarinet. He's on Mingus records like " Black Saint and The Sinner Lady". ( there's various double reed solos on Anthony Ortega records & some dub's that Dick gave me that never made it onto the vinyl.) it seems like as history has it that Birds life was cut short sadly and this project never materialized. Many times I think of what could've happened had this went down. Where could of this music would've went? Talk about imagining the sound right?

Basically I heard from another artist from the same era named Gil Melle that Varese was looking forward to this with Parker. It is a known fact that sadly never materialized. Many of us who understand what both men were about musically- it's kind of overwhelming to think that that kind of point of departure never happened. For what it's worth-Dick Hafer was a friend of mine who is from the same hometown is me. My original saxophone and flute teacher knew him-hence the connection. When I first moved to New York in 1973 I would go to jam sessions on Ave A to sit in with Dick and Joe Chevadone on trombone.He repeated this same story to me when home visiting his brother in Reading, Pa after he spent the night sitting in with Al Grey and me.
To have heard a story like this come right out of someone's mouth in front of you was mind blowing- I thought I would pass it along again as food for thought and also document something I heard from somebody who was on the inside, like Dick Hafer. Something pretty deep, sad it never happened. Thanks for reading this.

Tim Price Blogging For D'Addario Woodwinds August 2017

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