The RZA, The X-ecutioners, Dan The Automator, El-P and a diverse mix of other artists have come together to release Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix Project.
The remix project, produced by Matthew Backer, took artists from every genre of music, granted the artists access to the original Parker recordings, including alternate takes and false starts, and allowed them to create and compose their own interpretations of his music.
“Charlie Parker was a revolutionary head, a true rebel,” Backer told AllHipHop.com “He’s had such a lasting influence and he was so uncompromising with his art. Anybody who stands for freedom, innovation and forward thinking, comes from the flame that Bird lit up.”
The interpretations consist of Parker’s Savoy material, which was recorded during 1944-1948.
“A lot of the artists carry the spirit of Bird, whether they know it or not,” Backer continued. “They extracted elements they felt akin to and put them in their own setting. They put all of their own feeling into their pieces.”
When the artist was finished interpreting Parker’s version of each particular song, the artist also renamed the song to reflect the new version.
And what does Backer say to the purists who may look down upon artists from a new generation reworking classic material?
“Three words,” Backer said. “Bird is smiling.”
Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix Project, hits stores October 21st.
The artist/track listing is as follows. The title in parentheses is the renamed composition:
1. “Now’s The Time (No Time Like Now)” Red Hawk and Deke Damascus
2. “Relaxin’ At Camarillo (August 29)” Me’Shell Ndege`Ocello
3. “Salt Peanuts (The Mr. Peanut Chronicles)” Hal Willner, Dr. John, The Kronos Quartet, Mocean Worker
4. “Bebop (Live At the Rooftop)” Choco, The RZA
5. “Bird of Paradise (Gone)” Serj Tankian
6. “Congo Blues (Silencer)” Donk, Ravi Coltrane, Wild Children, Hubert Laws, Kodo
7. “Steeplechase (Sittin’ on 22’s)” Dan The Automator
8. “Cheers (X-ecutioners Style)” The X-ecutioners
9. “A Night In Tunisia (Downpour)” Donk, The Coconut Tree, Kodo
10. “All the Shadows of Nuff” Hal Willner, Garth Hudson of The Band, Mocean Worker
11. “Perhaps (Someday the Roof Will Get Fixed)” Dan The Automator
12. “Barbados (Where Fish Fly)”Matthew Backer, Hubert Laws, Redback
13. “Constellation (Heavenly Bodies)” El-P, Stephanie Vezina.