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Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix Project

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Editorial Reviews


To jazz fans, Charlie Parker (aka Bird) is legendary, a musical genius and an icon of cool. To mess with (or re-imagine) his work is tantamount to blasphemy. TourŽ writes in his liner notes, "It takes a genius to dance with a genius." Though certainly a statement of fact, it's out of place here. They may be emerging stars, but it's a bit too early to call Serj Tankian (frontman for System of a Down), Rob Swift (of the X-ecutioners), El-P, RZA and the rest of the assembled cast geniuses. As impressive a crew as it is, these remixes just don't work. The more experimental re-workings by Serj Tankian on "Bird of Paradise (Gone)" and Hal Willner's Whoops I'm an Indian on "Salt Peanuts (The Mr. Peanut Chronicles)" just seem to be exercises in ego. The better contributions come in the form of Dan the Automator's take on "Perhaps (Someday the Roof Will Get Fixed)" and Me'shell NdegŽOcello's interpretation of "Relaxin' at Camarillo (August 29)," where Parker's original compositions are simply complemented by new grooves and beats. It's highly overrated, but perhaps Bird Up! will succeed by helping a new generation of listeners discover the genius of "Yardbird" and the lesser-known talents on this record.

Barnaby Dick -- From URB Magazine

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Now's The Time (No Time Like Now)red hawk 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Relaxin' At Camarillo (August 29)Me'Shell Ndegeocello 5:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Salt Peanuts (The Mr. Peanuts Chronical) [feat. Dr. John, Kronos Quartet]Hal Willner's Whoops I'm an Indian 4:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Bird Of Paradise (Gone)Serj Tankian 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Congo Blues (Silencer) [feat. Hubert Laws, Kodo, Ravi Coltrane, Wild Children]Donk 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Bebop A (Live at the Rooftop)Choco and the RZA 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Steeplechase (Sittin' On 22's)Dan The Automator 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Cheers (X-ecutioners Style) [feat. X-ecutioners]Rob Swift 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. A Night In Tunisia (Downpour)Donk 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. All The Shadows Of NuffHal Willner's Whoops I'm an Indian 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Perhaps (Someday The Roof Will Get Fixed)Dan The Automator 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Barbados (Where Fish Fly) [feat. Redback, Hubert Laws]Matthew Backer 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Constellation (Heavenly Bodies) (Bonus Track)El-P 4:34$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 21, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Savoy Jazz
  • ASIN: B0000DCYQP
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,825 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I've lived a great many years on this planet, the majority of which have been accompanied by the sounds of Charlie Parker. Early on, I heard Bird's music direct from the source - Parker himself, who was, by all standards, one of a kind. Even before Bird passed in 1955, practically every player in jazz was, in some way or another, emulating his artistry. Still to this day, jazz musicians the world over hitch ride upon ride on Bird's creative coattails like some many-headed high horse of traditionalism gone far astray from its source by way of simply staying too close to home. Charlie Parker would not like what jazz has become: a shell of its former self; not much more than an apelike imitation of its bygone glory days; a bunch of recycled aluminum cans that used to be the brightest star in the night sky. That star was Bird - the original punk rocker; the original hip hopper; the original American Idol (or mine, at least). In all the years since Bird's passing, I hadn't ever heard a fitting tribute to the man more responsible than anyone else for what went on to become not only contemporary jazz, but rock and roll, hip hop and every other important musical movement this side of the 50's... until now. Bird Up - The Charlie Parker Remix Project is precisely that fitting tribute. If you believe in the raw genius that Bird brought to the table first, or even if you're intrigued by it and want to know more, then, along with some of Bird's original masterpieces (preferably those recorded in the mid to late 40's), run out and get your hands on a copy of this record. Bird's rebellious spirit lives in it. Unlike your typical jazz musician's paltry efforts to mimic Bird's stylings, this group of young musical mavericks have constructed a provocative, youthful, deeply loving eulogy which sings Charlie Parker's praises all the way up to the high heavens - straight to the source. Don't walk. For the love of Bird, run and wrap your mind around this outstanding record.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "wildforthenight" on November 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album is amazing. I've never heard anything like it before. It feels like a rollercoaster ride into the future. I didn't know enough about Charlie Parker before I heard it, but I now know that he was a true genius who left a deep impression on so many other geniuses who followed in his footsteps, a select few of whom make their visionary presence felt alongside his on this unprecedented recording.
From the album's completely appropriate first three words ("Now's the Time" - courtesy of Red Hawk) through the disintegration of it's final cosmic note (courtesy of El-P), Bird Up is so full of unexpected twists and turns that it feels more like a virtual reality adventure than any CD I've ever heard.
Some of my favorites are "Bird of Paradise (Gone)" - a mind blowing portrait of love by Serj Tankian of System of a Down; "Congo Blues (Silencer)" - a truly wild journey through the African jungle with Donk, Ravi Coltrane, Wild Children, Hubert Laws and Kodo; "Bebop (Live at the Rooftop)" and "Cheers (X-ecutioners Style) - courtesy of samurai master producer/MC The RZA and scratch kings the X-ecutioners, respectively - two of the most stirring and inspired juxtapositions of jazz and hip-hop I've ever heard; and "A Night in Tunisia (Downpour)" - another highly wild track courtesy of Donk, the Coconut Tree and Kodo.
Make no mistake. There is not a dull moment on this entire recording. Before this, I can recall five times that I've made that statement about one album's worth of material: Miles Davis - Kind of Blue; The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper; Dr. John - Gris Gris; The Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique; and Nas - Illmatic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jazzman on July 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This disc really didn't do too much for me. Keep in mind that doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy this because this is very much going to be an individual preference type thing. It just wasn't my cup of tea, that's all. So my rating is solely based on my personal experience and should not deter those who feel they would be interested in this.

There have been some flames thrown between reviewers on this album so let me just say this: I think it is great that these guys got together and decided to do a tribute to Charlie Parker. I would also hope that people would purchase Bird's original recordings as well so they can get an idea of what his music was really like and hopefully get an idea of how much of a true genius the man was. There have been complaints of snobbery by other reviewers and an unwillingness of older generations to accept the music of younger generations. I will say this: I am a musician and in my mid twenties and I will freely admit that when it comes to snobbery in music my generation and the ones younger than me tend to be the snobs most of the time. There are so many younger people nowadays who have no knowledge (and don't care to learn about) the musicains that came before them. That truly is a shame because we must always keep in mind that if it wasn't for those who came before us, we wouldn't be here. And I do agree with the statement that music today is way too much about image and not about making good music. I also agree with the statement that house and hip hop have their roots in jazz.
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