Review: Charlie Parker Jazz Festival Subtly Recalls Its Inspiration (via NY Times)

The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival comes by its name with a blissfully casual reverence. The festival, whose 22nd edition ran over the weekend, involves free outdoor concerts in Harlem and the East Village, neighborhoods where Parker, the pioneering alto saxophonist and bebop lodestar, once lived. It always falls near his birthday. (Born on Aug. 29, he would have turned 95 this year. He died at 34.)

But the festival doesn’t uphold bebop as a rigid absolute, or impose Parker’s music as a precondition. There tends to be a refreshing absence of formal tributes among the artists on the bill, and a healthy abundance of the informal kind, sometimes as fleeting and allusive as a scrap of melody shoehorned into a solo. Usually, that’s enough.

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