Charlie Parker with Strings

Charlie Parker (1920-1955)

A jazz saxophonist, famous as one of the founders of “bebop.”  Parker usually performed bebop with a small quintet.  Charlie Parker also recorded jazz standards with a small section of stringed instruments and a jazz rhythm section instead of his standard quintet.  Parker said that his favourite recordings were the ones he made with strings.

Here is a recording of the jazz standard “April in Paris” played by Charlie Parker on saxophone. He is accompanied by a small group of stringed instruments and a jazz rhythm section.  Parker’s playing here is more subdued than usual and you can hear the melody.  A real bonus!

Rebel -〈Les Elemens〉1737 / 1. Le Cahos (Reinhard Goebel / Musica Antiqua Köln)

Jean – Fèry Rebel (1666-1747)

Jean – Fèry Rebel was a French Baroque composer and violinist in the court of Louis XIV.  Les Élémens (a ten movement tone poem) was his final composition and his most striking.  The movement entitled Le Cahos  is a piece that is quite daring harmonically.  The piece has been compared to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring because it is so shocking for its time. It begins with an incredible cacophony of sound (in the beginning of the piece, all seven notes of the d minor scale are sounded at once as a harsh dissonant chord).  Les Élémens was first premiered at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris on September 27, 1737.  Here is a recording of the first movement Le Cahos.  It is performed by Musica Antiqua Köln (a well known early music ensemble) conducted by Reinhard Goebel.

Teddy Wilson – School for Pianists (10 solo piano recordings)

Teddy Wilson (1912-1986)

Teddy Wilson was an American jazz pianist.  His playing was known for its elegance and grace.  Teddy worked with many of the great jazz musicians including Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lena Horne, Billy Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald.  He worked a lot for various jazz bands but also led his own groups from the 1920s until the 1980s.  Teddy Wilson was one of the first black musicians to appear prominently with white musicians.  Teddy Wilson was one of the great pianists of the swing jazz era.

Here is an audio recording of Teddy Wilson playing some jazz standards.  Enjoy!