Bird with strings! Jukka Perko & Pori Sinfonietta plays Charlie Parker
mainstream jazz, be-bop
This year is the 90th anniversary of the birth of Charlie “Bird” Parker, the revolutionary inventor of be-bop. To honour his greatest inspirator, saxophonist Jukka Perko, with his quartet and the Pori Sinfonietta, brings to us the original string arrangements of the legendary album Bird With Strings, including Cole Porter evergreens, like Easy To Love and What Is This Thing Called Love, that were taylor-made for Parker in the 1940’s.
The project has special meaning for Perko. Listening to these songs as a youngster he absorbed the features of Parker’s style that at the 1987 Pori Jazz opened him the doors to the orchestra of the mighty Dizzy Gillespie. Bird himself deemed these recordings his best, but because the original arrangement notes disappeared in the 50’s, they haven’t been heard live since Parker’s own interpretations. Now we hear exact transcriptions, ordered by Perko, of those original records. So this is a rare opportunity to hear a piece of jazz history made fresh and alive again.
Having come into the limelight as a jazz prodigy, Perko has since given us many excellent works, like jazzfications of the great Olavi Virta’s songs and old hymns and his unique live performance with actual machines in an electrical steel workshop. Whatever the concept, the path opened by Bird always glows in the heart of his saxophonism. With good reason you can call it the very essence of be-bop jazz.