Testimony, A Tribute to Charlie Parker: With New and Selected Jazz Poems (Wesleyan Poetry Series)

By Yusef Komunyakaa

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa is celebrated for his jazz poetry, and this ebook is the 1st to compile the verve and energy of his oeuvre. the center-piece of this quantity is the libretto Testimony. harking back to Charlie Parker, Testimony was once commissioned for a radio drama with unique track via eminent Australian composer and saxophonist Sandy Evans. Remarkably wealthy and evocative, encompassing a variety of musical power and performers, this relocating confirmation of Parker’s genius grew to become a milestone in modern radio theater. Twenty-eight extra poems spanning the breadth of Komunyakaa’s occupation are integrated, together with by no means formerly released. Accompanying the poems are interviews and essays that includes Komunyakaa, Evans, radio manufacturer Christopher Williams, jazz critic Miriam Zolin, jazz author and editor Sascha Feinstein, and musical director, Paul Grabowsky. Sascha Feinstein writes the foreword.

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A number of poems labored most sensible in spoken shape and are superbly narrated via Michael Edward-Stevens. This recording is graced via American jazz legends, Kurt Elling and Laurence Hobgood, who joined Sydney musicians Jonathan Zwartz and Hamish Stuart to carry their exceptional artistry and wit to “A Day Like this day. ” Testimony can also be ‘testimony’ to 2 mythical figures in Australian tune, Joe ‘Bebop’ Lane and Jackie Orszaczky who, unfortunately, have either gave up the ghost when you consider that this recording used to be made. Joe Lane was once certainly one of a handful of early bebop pioneers in Australia. His ardour for Charlie Parker’s track persisted all through his complete existence. He spent his final years in a nursing domestic in Sydney, not able to talk because the results of a stroke. Miraculously, Joe used to be nonetheless capable of sing Charlie Parker solos, although he couldn’t even say hi to health facility employees or viewers. His buddy and modern Chuck Yates (piano), visited him in clinic frequently in the course of those years, and jointly they introduced Parker’s legacy to lifestyles in a very poignant musical discussion a ways faraway from Parker’s domestic in time and position, yet very shut in spirit. Jackie Orszaczky was once a Hungarian born Australian deeply enjoyed for his soulful groove, willing musical perception, incisive wit, heat and humanity. no one in Australia embodied the sensation on the center of blues, soul, funk, jazz and R&B as deeply as Jackie. His lifestyles companion, Tina Harrod joins him at the tune “Abel and Cain” the place their voices resonate in excellent union, as they generally did at reside gigs, protecting the viewers enraptured among ecstasy, ache and the overpowering wish to wake up and dance. fortunately Tina’s passionate performances are one of many mainstays of the present Australian 112 music scene. musicians who have been awfully vital within the improvement and recording of Testimony, drummer Hamish Stuart and trombonist James Greening, have been between Jackie’s closest associates and musical affiliates. Chuck Yates, Bernie McGann (alto saxophones) and Alan Turnbull (drums) are hugely esteemed veterans of the bebop and post-bop scene in Australia. Their appearances in this recording are very designated to me. They belong to a small handful of jazz innovators in Australia who've devoted their lives to appearing this nice song, arguably now and then with a very Australian aesthetic. they've got motivated generations of more youthful gamers, lots of whom seem in this recording. Bass avid gamers Lloyd Swanton and Jonathan Zwartz, and trumpet participant Warwick Alder, were long term individuals of Bernie McGann’s small teams. James Greening (trombone) and myself have additionally played widely with Bernie, either as contributors of John Pocheé’s huge ensemble, Ten half Invention (of which Warwick can be a member) and as visitors with Bernie’s trio. The tales surrounding all of the musicians in this recording are beneficial of a lot better cognizance than i'm giving them right here. None of those musicians put on kind as an accouterment. every one of them lives their tune deeply: the blues of Tina Harrod, Dave Brewer and Lachlan Doley; the harmonic, textural and rhythmic sophistication of Lily Dior, Kristen Cornwell, Alister Spence and Jeremy Sawkins; the woodwind artistry of Paul Cutlan and Casey Greene, the lead trumpet of Bob Coassin; the Latin warmth of Toni Allayialis and Fabian Hevia; the swinging attractiveness of Kate Swadling and Pamela Knowles; the ‘loveknots and chords’ of Michele Morgan, John Rodgers, Steve Elphick and Simon Barker; and the aching fantastic thing about Tanya Sparke.

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