Favorite Tunes ( Comments from EVERY COUNTRY )
Warming Up a Riff
- "Warming Up A Riff" is over "Cherokee" changes, from the same recording date that produced the famous "Koko"(also "Cherokee" changes). His playing on this tune is so relaxed and unpressured.
This tune was reportedly not an intended take, but the recordist captured it: during the recording session, Bird's alto sax stopped working, and it was sent out for an immediate repair. When it came back, Bird tested it out, and this tune was the test!! Lucky for us the engineer kept his tape running!! Its Dizzy playing piano behind Bird!
To me this piece is one of the most consistently thematic works that Bird ever blew, and has a very special depth. Because of the way the motives are so frequently used and intertwined, and very expressive unto themselves, Bird has really devised a beautiful set of superlatives that he can magically exploit. These provide him with opportunities to establish a system of many different expectations, in which small deviations yield big beautiful surprises. The promises he makes are gifts in themselves. And it is so rhapsodic! I could go on and on -but for me the way the story is told is indistinguishable from the story. He struts, he rejoices, he grieves, teaches, implores, gives up, perseveres, slam-dunks, caresses- these are just some of my feelings about this work. So many times Bird celebrates grief- what a teaching!
- This solo is full of confidence, joy and love.
- I'm listening to "Warming Up A Riff" right now, for the seventh time today! I keep returning to this solo year after year as my favorite by Parker. To me it is one of his most rewarding to listen to because he flows from one great idea to the next, over and over again throughout this solo.
It is such a nice piece to give to a fellow musician or non-musician to listen to, to turn them on to Parker, because of his great playing and because the piano and and bass are loud enough in the mix to help one's ear hear the harmonic context of the notes he is choosing to play. Each musician's playing is so free and easy, and at the same time intense and exciting; and how about those drums!
I had heard the story explained by another commentator in this forum that this was a test song for Parker's sax which had just been repaired; And today I just noticed that at the end (at approximately the 2 minute, 30 second mark, after Parker's last note), I think you can hear Parker commenting on his repaired horn saying, "that's alright," or "it's alright."
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