Down in Birdland

Le titre Birdland fait référence au célèbre club de Jazz ainsi nommé en hommage au saxophoniste Charlie Parker. Pour le composer, Joe Zawinul a convoqué l’esprit du jazz classique des années cinquantes. Lorsque Jon Hendricks met des paroles sur Birdland pour son groupe: Manhattan Transfer, il en profite pour rendre hommage aux légendes du jazz qui s’y sont produites. Petit tour des quelques sommités qui y sont évoquées.

Paroles

5000 light years from Birdland
But I’m still preachin’ the rythym
Long gone uptight years from Birdland
And I’m still teachin’ it with ’em
Years from the land of the Bird
And I am still feelin’ the spirit
5000 light years from Birdland
But I know people can hear it
Bird named it, Bird made it
Bird heard it, then played it
Well stated Birdland
It happened down in Birdland
In the middle of that hub
I remember one jazz club
Where we went to pat feet
Down on 52nd Street
Everybody heard that word
That they named it after Bird
Where the rythym swooped and swirled
The jazz corner of the world
And the cats they gigged in there
Were beyond compare
Birdland, I’m singing Birdland
Birdland, old swingin’ Birdland
Hey man, the music really turns you on
Really? Ya turn me around and turn me on
Down them stairs, lose them cares
Where? Down in Birdland
Total swing, Bop was king there
Down in Birdland
Bird would cook, Max would look
Where? Down in Birdland
Miles came through, Trane came too there
Down in Birdland
Basie blew, Blakie too
Where? Down in Birdland
Cannonball played that hall there
Down in Birdland, yeah
There will never be nothin’ such as that
No more, skoo be wah, no more
Down in Birdland, that’s where it was at
I know, ah ah ah ah ah, I know
Back in them days Bop was ridin’ high
Hello, heh heh heh heh heh, goodbye!
How well those cats remember their first Birdland gig
To play in Birdland is an honor we still dig
Yeah, that club was like in another world
Sure enough, yeah baby
All those cats were cookin’ on
People just sat and they were steady lookin’ on
Then Bird, he came and spread the word
Birdland
Yes indeed he did
Yes indeed he did
Yes indeed he did
Yes he did Parker played in Birdland
Yes he really did
Yes indeed he really did told the truth way down in Birdland
Yes indeed he did, Yard bird Parker played in Birdland
Yes indeed he really did, Charlie Parker played in Birdland
Bird named it, Bird made it
Bird heard it, then played it
Well stated Birdland
It happened down in Birdland
Everybody dug that beat
Everybody stomped their feet
Everybody digs be bop
And they’ll never stop
Down them stairs, lose them cares
Yeah, down in Birdland
Total swing, Bop was king
Yeah, down in Birdland
Bird would cook, Max would look
Yeah, down in Birdland
Miles came through, trane came too
Yeah, down in Birdland
Basie blew, Blakie too
Yeah, down in Birdland
Cannonball played that hall
Yeah, down in Birdland
Down them stairs, lose them cares
Yeah, down in Birdland
Total swing, Bop was king
Yeah, down in Birdland
Bird would cook, Max would look
Yeah, down in Birdland
Miles came through, trane came too
Yeah, down in Birdland
Basie blew, Blakie too
Yeah, down in Birdland
Cannonball played that hall
Yeah, down in Birdland
Down them stairs, lose them cares
Yeah, down in Birdland
Total swing, Bop was king
Yeah, down in Birdland
Bird would cook, Max would look
Yeah, down in Birdland

CATS AT BIRDLAND

BIRD

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Bird (oiseau) est le surnom donné à Charlie Parker (1920-1955), saxophoniste virtuose considéré comme l’un des créateurs du Bebop. Il est ici accompagné de Tommy Poter (Contrebasse), Max Roach (Batterie), Miles Davis (Trompette) et Duke Jordan (Piano)

MAX

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Maxwell Lemuel Roach (1924-2007) est l’un des batteurs les plus importants de l’histoire du jazz. Il a collaboré avec une multitude de musiciens dont Charlie Parker. Comme lui, il fait partie des pioniers du Bebop. Max Roach élevait la batterie au rang d’instrument soliste.

MILES

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Miles Dewey Davis III (1926-1991) trompettiste de Jazz, l’un des musiciens les plus influents du XXème siècle. Il eut une longue carrière et fut associé à plusieurs mouvements du Jazz. Sa carrière débuta auprès de Charlie Parker dans les années Bebop. Wayne Shorter, le saxophoniste de Weather Report a travaillé avec Miles Davis dès les années 60 sur les albums E.S.P. Et Miles Smiles. Joe Zawinul, clavieriste de Weather Report et notamment compositeur de Birdland a travaillé avec lui sur son album In a silent way (1970) dans cet album,  Miles amorce le tournant vers le Jazz-Rock en étant l’un des premiers à électrifier ses sons.

TRANE

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John William Coltrane (1926-1967) Saxophoniste et compositeur de jazz américain. Coltrane été compagnon de route des musiciens de Bebop et hard bop. Il a été précurseur dans l’usage des modes en jazz. Il fut plus tard à la pointe du mouvement free jazz. En plus de son propre groupe Coltrane a joué pour de grands musiciens tels que Miles Davis et Thelonious Monk.

BASIE

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William James « Count » Basie (1904-1984) pianiste, organiste, chef d’orchestre et compositeur de jazz américain. Il dirige son big band à partir de 1935. Beaucoup de grands musiciens de jazz en sont issus.

BLACKEY

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Arthur « Art » Blakey (1919-1990) batteur jazz. Blakey s’est fait connaitre dans les années 40 alors qu’il jouait dans les big band de Fletcher Anderson et Billy Eckstine. Dans les années Bebop, il collabore avec Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gilespie et Thelonious Monk avant de monter son propre groupe: The Jazz Messengers. Il contribua à lancer un bon nombre de musiciens prometteurs dont Wayne Shorter, l’un des pilliers de Weather Report.

CANNONBALL

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Julian Edwin « Cannonball » Adderley (1928-1975) Saxophoniste de Jazz américain essentiellement associé au mouvement hardbop. Il a notemment travaillé avec Miles Davis sur l’album Kind of Blue.