I'm one of those guys who prefers music from yesteryear, an old fogey who believes the most monumental, lasting rock and jazz is probably in our rear-view mirror. I'll tune in to newer artists and find redeeming qualities. But nothing compares to the good stuff. The old stuff.
Take Charlie "Bird" Parker for instance. I recently dusted off his recordings and gave them a good, careful listen, and man does this cat create some wondrous sounds on the saxophone. Never mind that Parker's been dead for 55 years. His music transcends time and a host of other boundaries that limit mere mortals.
Check out the cool video clip above showing the influential Parker laying down his signature bebop lines, backed by a swingin' jazz combo including none other than Buddy Rich on drums. Bird's playing is spontaneous but controlled, cerebral but soulful.
"You've got to learn your instrument," Parker once told an interviewer. "Then you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail."