Posts tagged with "jazz"

Donovan Mitchel

Donovan Mitchell × BODYARMOR × adidas

Coming off of his 5-year contract extension with the Jazz, NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell and BODYARMOR Sports Drink have teamed up for a new, exclusive collaboration with adidas, creating a limited-edition version of Donovan’s D.O.N. Issue # 2 sneaker: the adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR.

The adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR features a colorway inspired by Donovan’s favorite BODYARMOR Sports Drink flavor, Tropical Punch. The silhouette represents Donovan Mitchell’s ‘Determination Over Negativity’ mindset as he continues to aim to be a vehicle for positive disruption on the court and in communities across the country. 

As part of the second version of Donovan’s signature footwear line with adidas, the D.O.N. Issue #2 features a returned technology of a BOUNCE midsole, which arms Donovan and users with enhanced comfort and stability. New to the model is a higher heel counter, while the higher height gives the shoe even more containment and support. The upper features a soft and breathable mesh that provides improved lateral support through a webbed lacing system.

The adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR shoes will not be available for sale. Rather, only 100 pairs of shoes have been created that fans and consumers nationwide will be available to win via giveaways on BODYARMOR social platforms and more, starting today.

Donovan Mitchell has been with BODYARMOR Sports Drink since January 2018, when he was first announced as an athlete partner and investor in the brand. In addition to Donovan Mitchell, BODYARMOR’s impressive athlete roster includes James Harden, Trae Young, Megan Rapinoe, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Kemba Walker, Dustin Johnson, Naomi Osaka, Mike Trout, and more. 

BODYARMOR is now the #2 sports drink sold nationwide, and is on track for nearly $1 billion in retail sales by the end of 2020.

Queen’s Greatest Hits

Queen’s cornerstone “Greatest Hits” album is, once again, in the Top 10 of Billboard’s 200.

Released in 1981, the album has been on the charts for 412 weeks, finally landing at No. 8, up from its previous spot at No. 36. It previously peaked at No. 11 in 1992, the year following front man Freddie Mercury’s untimely death.

The now nine-time platinum album is also No. 1 on Billboard’s Vinyl Albums Chart with the second-largest sales week of 2020 for any vinyl release.

With monster hits from the iconic rock band like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We Are The Champions,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and so many more, it’s no wonder the album has stood the test of time.

Queen recently teamed up with both Target and Walmart to release brand new vinyl exclusives. Both are two-disc LPs, 180 gram.

Those opting for the Target exclusive will be treated to ruby blend marble vinyl while those who purchase from Walmart will receive red and white vinyl. The biggest fans of Queen might even be found purchasing both.

The band also recently released a live album with American Idol alum Adam Lambert at the helm. The album is titled “Queen + Adam Lambert Live Around The World,” and it landed at No. 1 on the UK’s official albums chart.

It was the first time a Queen album topped a chart since 1995’s “Made in Heaven.”

Queen is no stranger to the top ten, as this is their ninth album to land there. It will join the soundtrack for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Greatest Hits I, II & III: The Platinum Collection,” “Classic Queen,” “The Game,” “Jazz.” “News of the World,” “A Day at the Races” and “A Night at the Opera.”

Queen’s “Greatest Hits” is still the best-selling album of all-time in the UK.

Holiday Jazz Albums Available in New Vinyl Set

FOUR TIMELESS HOLIDAY JAZZ TITLES BY ELLA FITZGERALD, KENNY BURRELL, RAMSEY LEWIS AND JIMMY SMITH BOXED UP FOR NEW VINYL SET, VERVE WISHES YOU A SWINGING CHRISTMAS

MOST ALBUMS REPRESSED FOR FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN 50 YEARS AVAILABLE NOW VIA VERVE/UMe

This holiday season, Verve Records/UMe is boxing up some of the most classic jazz holiday titles and wrapping them in a new vinyl box set titled Verve Wishes You a Swinging Christmas. This lavish collection brings together Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas (1960), Kenny Burrell’s Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas (1966), Ramsey Lewis’s Sound of Christmas (1961) and Jimmy Smith’s Christmas ‘64 (1964) (also known as Christmas Cookin’) for the first time. With the holidays just around the corner, it’s the perfect swinging, syncopated backdrop to get you in the Yuletide spirit and soundtrack your festivities.

Purchase Verve Wishes You a Swinging Christmas now: https://Verve.lnk.to/SwingingChristmas

Since the dawn of jazz, the genre’s innovators have pulled material from all corners of the Great American Songbook and beyond as springboards for improvisation — and the Christmas canon is no exception. On Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas, the First Lady of Song approaches Great American Christmas songs like “Jingle Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Frosty the Snowman” with vivacity and sophistication. Sixty Christmases after its release, the album’s timeless appeal has only grown over the years. In a retrospective review, All Musicproclaimed, “this is as good as jazz Christmas albums get,” and just last year, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 1 on their “40 Essential Christmas Albums” list, calling the set “superb” and praising Fitzgerald’s “exquisite phrasing and subtlety.” In celebration of the album’s 60th anniversary, “Frosty The Snowman” has received its first-ever official video, a charming animated video by Fantoons Animation Studio that features Ella and Frosty in a winter wonderland storybook setting. Watch here: https://youtu.be/Hmw4Fu4XupE

Verve Wishes You a Swinging Christmas includes a variety of jazz greats’ instrumental takes on the Christmas canon via three albums that haven’t seen a vinyl reissue since the ‘60s. On Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas, guitar master Kenny Burrell serves up soulful renditions from the carol book (“The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Away in a Manger”), down the church aisle (“Mary’s Little Boy Chile,” “Children Go Where I Send Thee”) and the R&B wheelhouse (“Merry Christmas, Baby”). JazzTimes declares it “was and is a landmark album” while All Music admires Burrell’s “pensive, meditative, precise playing” and calls it “a must-have.”

The box cranks the fun up a notch with Sound of Christmas by the Ramsey Lewis Trio, which features bassist Eldee Young, drummer Isaac “Red” Holt, and string arranger Riley Hampton. By swerving around any potential treacle and keeping things light at a mere 29 minutes, Lewis and his colleagues ensured Sound of Christmas was a highly accessible slice of holiday cheer. “Lewis avoids the overly reverent… in favor of songs he can tear through with the brisk gait of a sleigh ride and the delight of a full stocking,” All About Jazz mused.“[H]is sensitivity to the tastes of the public served him well here.”

Rounding out the collection is a yuletide offering from Jimmy Smith, the master of the Hammond B-3 organ. On Christmas ‘64, which was known for decades as Christmas Cookin’ after being reissued in 1966 with the alternate cover and title, Smith offers up a mix of secular Christmas songs and traditional carols backed by a big band and several trios. He makes a heel-turn from dignified orchestral overtures, like on “We Three Kings (of Orient Are),” injecting the proceedings with funky, down-home energy to get bodies moving this December. “It’s hard to believe that ‘Silent Night’ could ever swing as much as it does here,” All About Jazz noted. But all you have to do is drop the needle on these bluesy interpretations to believe Christmas could be so danceable. For the first time in more than five decades, the LP will be released with its original cover and title.

Why wait until the Christmas shopping rush to secure your vintage sounds? Verve Wishes You a Swinging Christmas offers four titles in their original packaging, all beamed from jazz’s past to warm up your holiday season in the present.

Ella Fitzgerald Wishes You a Swinging Christmas (1960)

Side A:

  1. Jingle Bells
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  4. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
  5. Sleigh Ride
  6. The Christmas Song

Side B:

  1. Good Morning Blues
  2. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  3. Winter Wonderland
  4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  5. Frosty the Snowman
  6. White Christmas

Kenny Burrell — Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas (1966)

Side A:

  1. The Little Drummer Boy
  2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  3. My Favorite Things
  4. Away in a Manger
  5. Mary’s Little Boy Chile
  6. White Christmas

Side B:

  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  2. The Christmas Song
  3. Go Where I Send Thee
  4. Silent Night
  5. Twelve Days Of Christmas
  6. Merry Christmas Baby

Ramsey Lewis — Sound of Christmas (1961)

Side A:

  1. Merry Christmas Baby
  2. Winter Wonderland
  3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  4. Christmas Blues
  5. Here Comes Santa Claus

Side B:

  1. The Sound Of Christmas
  2. The Christmas Song
  3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  4. Sleigh Ride
  5. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Jimmy Smith — Christmas ‘64 (a.k.a. Christmas Cookin’) (1964)

Side A:

  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  2. Jingle Bells
  3. We Three Kings (Of Orient Are)
  4. The Christmas SongSide B:
  1. White Christmas
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  3. Silent Night
  4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Kaelen Felix Illustrates an Article about Skai Jackson for 360 MAGAZINE

Skai Jackson × DWTS

Skai Jackson, the 18-year-old television and social media star, hit the cover of 360 MAGAZINE.

A competitor on the 29th season of ABC’s hit television series “Dancing with the Stars,” Jackson is mostly known for her role as Zuri Ross in the Disney Channel show “Jessie” and its spin-off series “Bunk’d,” as well as her social media presence. Her cover with 360 MAGAZINE was featured on “Dancing with the Stars,” and you can see it right here.

Now, she is partnered with Alan Bersten in the popular ballroom dancing competition.

She danced the tango with Bersten to Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Bass” in the first week of the show and scored a 21 out of 30 from the three judges.

In the second week, she danced the samba to Ne-Yo‘s “Miss Independent.” The duo scored their lowest score up to this point in the competition with a 15, but they were saved while Charles Oakley and Emma Slater were eliminated.

Jackson and Bersten then danced the jive to “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog.” They scored an 18 and moved on to the next round.

Week four saw the two dance the foxtrot to John Legend‘s “Ordinary People.” Jackson dedicated the dance to her “Jessie” co-star Cameron Boyce, who died at the age of 20 in 2019.

She spread the word about dedicating the dance on Twitter.

“Just got off stage…I did my thing for Cameron tonight,” she tweeted.

She also encouraged viewers to donate to the Cameron Boyce Foundation, a program that honors Boyce with a goal to end gun violence and cure epilepsy. Combining an issue that affected Boyce personally with an issue he was passionate about, the foundation aims to be the bridge for people who want to help but don’t know how.

To help, you can follow the Cameron Boyce Foundation on Instagram, donate and encourage others to get involved.

The dance scored the first ten of the year from Carrie Ann Inaba. It also received nines from Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli, giving it a total score of 28, the highest score of the season at the time.

The two danced jazz in the fifth week to “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis & The News for the show’s 80’s night. Set to a “Back to the Future” backdrop, the costumes completed the feel of the movie and the dance scored a 24.

Week 6 will air Wednesday night on ABC, and Jackson and Bersten will dance the cha-cha-cha.

You can follow Skai Jackson on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bard College Appoints Marcus Roberts

Bard College announces the appointment of award-winning pianist and composer Marcus Roberts as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music for the 2020–21 academic year. A highly acclaimed modern jazz pianist, composer, and educator, Roberts is known throughout the world for his development of an entirely new approach to jazz trio performance as well as for his remarkable ability to blend the jazz and classical idioms. Hailed as “the genius of modern piano,” Roberts’s life and career were featured by the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes in a 2014 episode, “The Virtuoso,” in which he was interviewed by Wynton Marsalis. In addition to his renown as a performer and composer, Roberts is the founder of The Modern Jazz Generation, a multigenerational ensemble that is the realization of his long-standing dedication to training and mentoring younger jazz musicians. Roberts will teach a series of master classes to Bard music students this fall and spring.

Pianist/composer Marcus Roberts has been hailed “the genius of the modern piano”. His life and career have been featured on an episode of the CBS News television show, 60 Minutes, called “The Virtuoso.” The show traced his life from his early roots in Jacksonville and at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind to his remarkable career as a modern jazz pianist, composer, and educator. Roberts grew up in Jacksonville, FL where his mother’s gospel singing and the music of the local church left a lasting impact on his own musical style. While he began playing piano at age five after losing his sight, he did not have his first formal lesson until age 12. Despite that late start, he progressed quickly and at age 18, went on to study classical piano at Florida State University with the great Leonidas Lipovetsky. Roberts has won numerous awards and competitions over the years, but the one that is most personally meaningful to him is the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement.

Roberts is known throughout the world for his development of an entirely new approach to jazz trio performance as well as for his remarkable ability to blend the jazz and classical idioms to create something wholly new. His critically acclaimed legacy of recorded music reflects this tremendous artistic versatility with recordings ranging from solo piano, duets, and trio to large ensembles and symphony orchestra. His popular DVD recording with the Berlin Philharmonic showcases his groundbreaking arrangement of Gershwin’s “Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra”. One of Roberts’ more recent musical projects is the founding of a new band called The Modern Jazz Generation. This multigenerational ensemble is the realization of Roberts’ long-standing dedication to training and mentoring younger jazz musicians. Roberts is also an associate professor of music at the School of Music at Florida State University and he holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Juilliard School.

In addition to his renown as a performer, Roberts is also an accomplished composer who has received numerous commissioning awards from such places as Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, ASCAP, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Savannah Music Festival, Seiji Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Orchestra (who commissioned him to write his second piano concerto, “Rhapsody in D for Piano and Orchestra”), and most recently, the American Symphony Orchestra.

THANKS AMY

By Althea Champion

By the time of Amy Winehouse’s death in 2011, the death itself was no shock. Today, more than nine years after her death, people still wallow in the sorrow it brought and celebrate the birthday of a legend.

In the weeks leading up to her death, her antics were well-documented. She developed tumultuous relationships with rehab facilities that she entered and exited frequently, engaged in fights, and attracted unwanted attention from the press.

Winehouse insisted that she came by her popularity honestly.

“I don’t write a song and think, ‘oh, a million people will hear this,'” she told E! News in 2007. “I write a song because I need to make sense of why I do certain things.”

And the public loved it. Winehouse relished in her pain and imperfection, sporting big boobs, thick eyeliner, and a mane of hair that stood in contradiction to the rest of her small frame—but it undeniably worked.

Her fame began with the debut of Frank, a 2003 album that garnered acclamation from critics and others in the U.K. That success was followed by the infamous Back to Black album in 2006, known most well by Rehab, which shot her to Grammy-winner status, despite her inability to physically accept the awards in 2008; she couldn’t secure a visa in time.

Her talent was undeniable. Her sultry voice, embellished by a darling rasp, captivated her audience and made her a star. The musical contributions she gifted the world are still sung today from rooftops—now, with indisputable irony.

During 2010, she was singing, performing, and alternating between sobriety and heavy drinking. In Jan. 2011, she had a seizure that she allegedly had no recollection of. And for the rest of 2011, until her death in July, she alternated between hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, and her apartment.

Then on July 23rd, she was found dead by her security guard, Andrew Morris, accompanied by three empty vodka bottles.

On the day of her tragic death, stars like Lady Gaga, Adele, Rihanna, Tony Bennett, and Kelly Clarkson paid tribute to the singer, expressing their grief on social media. Today, a Winehouse birthday does not pass by without someone noticing. On what would have been her 37th birthday, the same occurred.

Famous figures like Patti Smith, Lady Gaga, and Nas took to social media, expressing how they missed the icon, and commemorating the gift she gave to everyone, despite herself.

Like the rockstars who preceded her, she lives on in the hearts and ears of many, reminding us to be proud of who we are.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, visit this link or call this number: (877) 373-4513

TOBi Releases New Single & Video – “MADE ME EVERYTHING”

TOBi SMILES AND THRIVES THROUGH PAIN IN NEW SINGLE & VIDEO, MADE ME EVERYTHING, AND ANNOUNCES THE ELEMENTS PROJECT

“… TOBi seamlessly shifting between rap, r&b, jazz and afrobeat with smooth flows and raspy vocals…” The FADER

“With his weathered and wizened voice that effortlessly oscillates between singing and MCing atop butter-smooth, jazzy production, TOBi has been winning the attention of music lovers everywhere.” Complex

“ The Nigerian-Canadian singer and rapper TOBi redefines soul music by combining his diverse musical influences while representing his Nigerian upbringing.” OKAYAFRICA

LISTEN TO “MADE ME EVERYTHING”

WATCH “MADE ME EVERYTHING”

Buzzing Brampton-raised, TOBi drops another unapologetic soulful single, produced by Alex Goose in “Made Me Everything,” and announces the upcoming ELEMENTS project due out on October 14th . The uplifting and motivational track begins with a Charles Moose Amos & Tony Milen sample followed by a funky yet playful bassline.

This is the first song that Alex Goose produced for me and we have so much more in the chamber. That soulful energy with a contemporary touch is what my music is about, says TOBi. I’m bringing that feeling back for the kids to experience. It’s been a crazy year collectively and adding our personal lives into the mix makes it more complex. Then, we have the reopening of racial wounds in North America. It’s heavy stuff, so we create joy and find ways to smile and thrive through the pain. We are resilient. We got this.”

TOBi reconnected with acclaimed director Kit Weyman (24 Remix) to capture Toronto’s community essence. Together they weaved images of youthful laughter, dance and genuine moments of joy emphasizing the power of being a community.

We got the whole block out for this video. Shoutout to Director Kit for being an anchor in that regard. I had some of my childhood homies in there, the dance community, the Toronto film community, real people I’ve met. This video shoot was one of the best days I’ve had this year. Everyone showed their talent and simply enjoyed life. If that doesn’t motivate you I don’t know what will. The reactions throughout the video aren’t scripted, those moments are real and spontaneous. From the basketball scene to the backflip, the kids were losing it in real time. It was magical,” says TOBi.

Recently the rising star announced his partnership with Same Plate Entertainment/RCA Records, along with the release of the Juls produced, “Dollas and Cents.” The pair showcased their diverse diasporic lineage and the magic created when working together.

In April 2020, TOBi released STILL +  a deluxe version of his debut album which explored themes of vulnerability, post traumatic growth, self-reflection and masculinity of his time immigrating from Nigeria to Canada.  STILL + added two new singles: “Holiday” produced by !llmind as well as  “Paid,” followed by the City Blues Remix featuring The Game; “180 Remix” featuring Kemba and the “24” remix featuring all Torontonians SHADHaviah MightyJazz Cartier and Ejji Smith. The project has a combined total of 17M streams across all streaming platforms. In January 2020, Complex Magazine voted TOBi as a top artist to watch.

WATCH DOLLAS AND CENTS 

WATCH CITY BLUES

WATCH 24 TORONTO REMIX

Connect with TOBi On: 

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Senri Oe – HMMM Channel IGTV Launch

Jazz pianist SENRI OE will launch a new, bi-weekly Instagram TV series titled the HMMM Channel, which premieres tomorrow, September 17, at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT.  Senri will welcome listeners from around the world into his living room with the virtual mini-concert series. Every episode will include two live performances, with Senri’s storytelling behind the songs from his current album, HMMM, and songs from the catalog of his compositions written over the years. The HMMM Channel will live on Senri’s Instagram feed with two episodes per month, and will air every other Thursday at 8:00 P.M. ET / 5:00 P.M. PT.  Follow Senri HERE

Senri’s current jazz trio album, HMMM onPND / Sony Music Masterworks, reached the Top 40 on the JAZZWEEK chart, and #24 on the Roots Radio Jazz Top 50, marking the former Japanese pop star – turned jazz musician’s career jazz charting debut.  During these unprecedented times, in which Oe had to halt his recent February tour of Japan due to the Coronavirus, he wrote a special song dedicated to essential workers titled Togetherness, check out  HERE;  in addition to a special nine song playlist for fans, calling it a “calm, soothing and feel good remix” which can be heard HERE.

HMMM, Oe’s sixth jazz studio album, includes six trio tracks and three solo piano tracks, with accompaniments by acclaimed musicians bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Ari Hoenig.  Oe’s songs are interspersed with three piano pieces – two interludes (“Freshening Up,” “When Life Was A Pizza Party”) and a postlude (the Christmas-themed “A Fireplace”) – amongst six cuts that showcase his spirited, often lighthearted, yet powerfully percussive trademark piano style, as he interacts with the dynamics-filled grooves created by Hoenig and Clohesy.  During the recording of the album, Oe’s father passed away unexpectedly, and became the inspiration for several songs on the album – as Oe had been overcome with so many feelings and emotion, that he composed the three solo piano tunes in 30 minutes.

As a pop superstar in Japan in the 80’s and 90’s (who grew up listening to the sounds of Billy Joel and The Carpenters), Oe did a complete turnabout in his career after a backing band member, and friend of his, suddenly passed away.  At that point, he decided that life was too short, and wanted to focus on what was important in his life – his first love – jazz.  So Oe left Japan and his legion of pop fans to grab a piece of the American Dream, and headed to New York to study at the School of Jazz at The New School.  Oe’s jazz albums include:  Boys & Girls (2018), Answer July (2016), Collective Scribble (2015), Spooky Hotel (2013), and Boys Mature Slow (2012) and HMMM (2019).

See schedule of HMMM Channel airdates:

Thursday, September 17

Thursday, October 1

Thursday, October 15

Thursday, October 29

Thursday, November 12

Thursday, November 26

Thursday, December 10

Thursday, December 24

Check out Senri’s album HMMM  HERE.

Check out Senri’s music videos:

RE: VISION

ORANGE DESERT

INDOOR VOICES

 

John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” 60th Anniversary Album

By Krishan Narsinghani

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps is one of the most important albums in American music history.” – Pitchfork

The John Coltrane Estate and Atlantic Records (Rhino Records) announce an upcoming release of Coltrane’s remastered jazz sensation, Giant Steps. Fans can expect 8 alternate takes or bonus tracks on the LP and CD physical pieces and 20 extra tracks on the super deluxe edition available on steaming platforms and digital downloads.

Along with the release, the Coltrane estate is giving away a Pro-ject turntable in celebration of the announce. Rules indicate to follow John Coltrane on Spotify.

Over 60 years ago, John Coltrane embarked on principal recording sessions for his first Atlantic album that became “Giant Steps,” less than two weeks after completing work with Miles Davis on what would become “Kind of Blue.” This was Coltrane’s first album comprised entirely of original compositions.

‘Giant Steps,’ the title track, has become one of the most legendary recordings in all of jazz history for its virtuosity. Pianist, Tommy Flanagan, originally thought that the song was a ballad when first reviewing the score, with its 26 chord changes in the 16-bar theme that has challenged musicians since its inception.

The first single “Naima” is available now. Listen here.

Charlie Parker “Bird 100” Continues

On the 100th anniversary of Charlie Parker’s birth – August 29, 2020 – it is impossible to imagine the evolution of jazz and modern music in general without the indelible influence of one of the most important Black American figures in history. Parker’s incomparable life and extraordinary, trailblazing career is being celebrated all year with a centennial celebration lovingly dubbed Bird 100, after the nickname of the preeminent alto saxophonist who was one of the fathers of bebop and progenitors of modern jazz. Leading up to Bird’s 100th birthday and throughout the year, the celebration will encompass a series of releases spanning a variety of media and perspectives in order to explore the full span of his inestimable legacy. In addition to enlightening new releases of Parker’s music and stunning vinyl reissues, it will also feature the first-ever graphic novel chronicling Parker’s life, a new animated video for one of his most beloved classics, a collection of scores for his immortal compositions, gorgeous canvas artwork culled from Parker’s visually striking album covers, and virtual events.

“The centennial of Charlie Parker is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate his life, legacy and art form with the world. We are thrilled to honor Bird’s transformative musical impact on past, present and future generations,” said Jeff Jampol, CEO of JAM, Inc., the manager of the Estate of Charlie Parker.

This fall, Parker’s longtime label Verve Records, in conjunction with UMe, the global catalog company of Universal Music Group, will offer an illuminating new perspective on a previously underexamined chapter of Parker’s life with a new collection titled Bird In LA, featuring unreleased songs recorded during Bird’s storied visits to Los Angeles in the mid ‘40s through the early ‘50s.

“Few artists have made such an impact on the music of an era as Charlie Parker did in shaping the sounds of the 20th century. We are honored to be entrusted with his legacy as we continue to offer fans quality reissues of his remarkable work and explore new platforms for new fans to discover and appreciate his artistry,” said Bruce Resnikoff, President & CEO, UMe.

“Charlie Parker is one of the enduring icons of Verve Records. He is a peerless artist and his legacy is far-reaching. We are proud to celebrate his centennial with many different initiatives – from a graphic novel and incredible reissues, to new videos and live events – so that everyone can be reminded of the greatness of Bird,” said Jamie Krents, EVP of Verve/Impulse! 

In conjunction with Bird In LA, Z2 Comics (Gorillaz, Grateful Dead, The Doors) will release the graphic novel, “Chasin’ The Bird: Charlie Parker In California,” which chronicles the story of Bird’s time in Los Angeles starting in December 1945, where Bird and Dizzy Gillespie brought frenetic sounds of bebop from the East Coast jazz underground to the West Coast for a two-month residency at Billy Berg’s Hollywood jazz club. This marked the beginning of a tumultuous two year-stint for Bird, bumming around LA, showing up at jam sessions, crashing on people’s couches, causing havoc in public places, and recording some of his most groundbreaking tracks such as, “A Night in Tunisia” and “Ornithology,” as well as “Relaxin’ At Camarillo,” inspired by the end of his time in SoCal at the Camarillo State Mental Hospital. The novel explores Bird’s relationship with the characters and events he encountered during his time in L.A., including recording some of his signature songs with Dial Records founder Ross Russell, a brief but influential stay at the home of famed jazz photographer William Claxton, a party for the ages at the ranch home of artist Jirayr Zorthian, and others who found themselves in the orbit of the jazz genius. Beautifully told by Dave Chisholm, colored by DreamWorks Animation Director Peter Markowski and featuring a foreword by Hall of Fame basketball legend and cultural icon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “Chasin’ the Bird,” named for Parker’s 1947 standard, adapts one of the sunnier, albeit darker chapters in the life of Bird. The graphic novel is available for pre-order now directly through the Z2 webstore, as either a standard or a deluxe edition, with two tracks to be announced on a Flexidisc in the standard version and an accompanying 45” LP for the deluxe version when purchased exclusively via the store. Early reviews have been nothing short of glowing with Comic Bookcase hailing it as “One of the best graphic novels of the year.”


ABOUT CHARLIE PARKER:

If jazz history can be divided into two epochs — danceable swing and improvisational bebop — then Charlie Parker is the fault line. During his brief but remarkable career, the alto saxophonist nicknamed “Bird” gave jazz lightning tempos, mind-bending chord substitutions, and previously unexplored harmonic depth, paving the way for hard bop, free jazz, fusion and everything after. Miles Davis summed up his accomplishments: “You can tell the history of jazz in four words. Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.” Parker, who died in 1955 at only 34, was a meteoric musician that burned bright and much too quick. But his legacy more than lives on; it’s jazz scripture. Jack Kerouac called him “as important as Beethoven.” Four of his recordings were inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame including albums Charlie Parker With Strings and Jazz At Massey Hall and the songs “Ornithology” and “Billie’s Bounce.” In 1974, he was awarded a posthumous GRAMMY for Best Performance By A Soloist for “First Recordings.” In 1988, the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic “Bird” brought his story to the silver screen. The U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp in his honor in 1995. The Parker composition “Koko” was included in the National Recorded Registry in 2002, declaring the song as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform(s) or reflect(s) life in the United States.” Although his life and career were short, the New Yorker has praised Parker as “one of the wonders of twentieth-century music” and the New York Times deemed him “matchless” and a “bebop exemplar.” Parker’s popularity continues to grow as the world celebrates the 100th birthday in 2020.