Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Alto sax with guitar accompaniment

The first four tracks below find a young Charlie Parker in 1943 accompanied only by rhythm guitar. It's an interesting mix - bop saxophone at its inception, coupled with a simple, driving beat that bears little resemblance to Parker's later rhythm sections. It's an irresistible combination for me - the cumulative rhythmic energy of 1920s and 30s jazz coupled with quirky 1940s phrasing and a beautiful tone.

Just for comparison, listen to the fifth track below - French saxophonist Andre Ekyan playing Tiger Rag as a duet with Django Reinhardt in 1937. There are more similarities than differences, though most would regard this as a different style of jazz based solely on the particular musicians involved. The labels we give to styles of music influencing the way we perceive the music itself? That seems backwards to me.

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