Inspired by the sixty-year anniversary of the death of Charlie Parker, who died in 1955 at the age of 34, Larry Klein, the producer of major pop and jazz players, such as Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and Tracy Chapman, had the idea of making a wreath in the form of a song album for the idiosyncratic alto saxophonist. He thought of an unusually made wreath, not to give present time saxophonists the task of re-recording Parker titles. Instead of this close appreciation, Larry Klein was undoubtedly more original: Twelve singers from different genres present selected titles from the huge repertoire of Charlie Parkers in the form of songs, which titles were given special texts by David Baerwald impressionistically giving way to important stations in the musical career of the jazz legend. The pianist Craig Taborn, the saxophonist Donny McCaslin, the guitarist Ben Monder, the bassists Larry Grenadier and Scott Colley, the drummer Mark Giuliana and Eric Harland, that is a substantial part of the instrumentalists who recently helped David Bowies Blackstar to success take care of a reliable instrumental basis of the undertaking "The Passion of Charlie Parker".
"Meet Charlie Parker" is the original title "Ornithology" completed with text. Typical Charlie Parker, this title in turn is nothing more than a variation on the jazz standard "How High The Moon", driven to the top in terms of chord changes. The American jazz and chanson singer Madeleine Peyroux, whose voice is somewhat reminiscent of Billie Holiday, takes this Charly Parker title vocally and puts the listener into a mood fallen rather from the moon.
Barbara Hannigan, a Canadian singer, comes from the classical camp and is also active as a conductor for classical compositions. She was entrusted with the vocal part in "The Epitaph of Charlie Parker" alias "Visa", which she proclaims with appropriate dignity.
Under the relatively few jazz singers of class Gregory Porter, who always appears under his ineffable cap, takes over the strongly declamatory structuring - his typical way of singing - of the "Yardbird Suite," a title which has the same name in the Charlie Parker original.
The American Jeffrey Wright, buried with Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe, lends his professional actor voice to the song "So Long", originally known as "K.C. Blues". One buys the lethal drug addiction referring to Charlie parker through the convincing formation of this song.
The Brazilian jazz singer Luciana Souza, who is married to the producer of this album, realizes "Every Little Thing" alias "Bloomdido" in an appropriate lightweight manner.
"Central Avenue" proceeds again as a purely instrumental without any vocals and it perfectly matches Charlie Parker's gloomy mood on a trip to Los Angeles. Why the saxophonist at that time was reluctantly traveling to southern California is not known.
The song "Los Angeles", in the original "Moose the Mooche", once more is devoted to another the unpleasant drug addiction. The hymn to the dealer is presented by the 2010 Grammy Award honored American jazz singer Kurt Elling, who is known to be at home in the style of a Mark Murphy, as well as in the Beat Poetry, with great conviction.
"Live My Love for You," a song that is known under the Charly Parker title of „My Little Suede Shoes", is presented by Kandace Springs, a jazz singer, songwriter and pianist from Nashville, as fluctuating between soul, jazz and pop.
Jeffrey Wright swoops a second time in the song scenes about Charly Parker with "Fifty Dollars" alias "Segment".
"The King of 52nd Street" originally sailed without vocals under "Scrapple From the Apple". The jazz singer and songwriter Melody Gardot from New Jersey takes the role of the Street King convincingly with a wide stance.
"Salle Pleyel" takes us purely instrumental to the Paris of the fifties, preparing the last song of this album "Après Vous" alias "Au Privave", performed the singer/songwriter Camille representing the Nouvelle Chanson and being active in the Parisian jazz club scene, as an apotheosis of Charlie Parker.
The album "The Passion Of Charlie Parker" is a very successful, unconventional way to appreciate one of the idiosyncratic major jazz legends. This high-resolution download is a must have not at least with respect to its recorded sound.