Bird & Beyond
Compositions by Charlie Parker
Decompositions and compositions by HOT
Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker was arguably the biggest genius of 20th century jazz. His innovative use of harmony and rhythm was so convincing that a whole generation of saxophonists became addicted to his style. But his harmonic ideas also proved such a coherent and closed building that the next generation preferred to stay out of it entirely.
In 2015, some sixty years after his death, we decided to look how much space we could still find in Bird’s music. And where better to do that than in the miraculous acoustics of the spatious 12th century Nicolaï church in Utrecht, with six beautiful seconds of reverb. And of course on the instrument that has the strongest link to the building: the pipe organ, with its endless sound possibilities.
Both organs on these recordings were manufactured by the Danish firm Marcussen & Søn. The main organ was designed and built between 1948 and 1956, contemporary with Charlie Parker’s years of fame. After quite a national stir caused by the use of foreign builders, immediately after its introduction the organ was generally regarded as setting a new standard for organs in the Netherlands. The small ‘Sweelinck organ’ was built in 1953 for the Dutch broadcast company NCRV, following the style of an historic organ of Sweelinck’s time.
Thus, the old space of the church with its advanced 1950s organs formed the perfect conditions for the recordings of Bird & Beyond!
Steven Kamperman — clarinets
Dion Nijland — double bass
Berry van Berkum — organ
Special thanks to
Nicolaï church, Jeannette Provily, Ko Zwanenburg,
Marcel de Ridder, Ton Kooiman, Orgelpark Amsterdam, Bert van Dijk, Jasper Kamperman, Tjitze Vogel, Sony, and EMI
Recorded June 14th/15th 2016
in Nicolaï church, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Alex Geurink
This CD has been made possible by financial support of Sena and Fonds Podiumkunsten (composition)
3452 JN Vleuten