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Charlie Parker Tribute Mixtape 'Bird Food'

OKP x Revive Premiere: Charlie Parker's Legacy Celebrated On DJ Rahdu's 'Bird Food' Tribute Mixtape

OKP x Revive Premiere: Charlie Parker's Legacy Celebrated On DJ Rahdu's 'Bird Food' Tribute Mixtape

Charlie Parker AKA Yardbird AKA Bird passed away 60 years ago today, on March 12th, 1955. The legendary jazz saxophonist, bandleader and architect of be-bop was reportedly watching TV in the hotel suite of Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswater (“I think her Father gave her that name…after a butterfly that he tried to catch.” – Thelonious Monk) when death came for him. We say ‘reportedly’ because, although there is a gravestone in Blue Summit, Missouri bearing Parker’s name under an engraving of a saxophone, there is ample evidence to suggest that death could not do much to silence Charlie Parker. The word ‘immortal’ like ‘epic’ is criminally over-used in describing important musicians (guilty). But when the musician in question inspired countless people to scrawl the words “Bird Lives!” in an ongoing global graffiti phenomenon on par with “Jesus Saves” and “Kilroy was here,” then you can be confident that immortal is not too strong a word.

Those words–not to mention the obsessive scrawling of Parker’s name, song titles and collaborators in the paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Raymond Saunders (who inspired our mixtape cover, above) are just the visual traces of Bird’s impact on our sonic reality. Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: “Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker” and it’s safe to say that the rest of American music would not be shaped (or colored) the way it is without him. Even if his name is no longer a household Bird, his sound and spirit are inscribed in numerous samples and tributes you may never have realized were Bird’s offspring, from Chaka Khan to Gang Starr, from Quantic to Smif N Wessun. On this momentous occasion Okayplayer x Revive took it upon ourselves to collect these Bird seeds, his traces on our little corner of the world–the hip-hop generation–and invited the formidable DJ Rahdu of BamaLoveSoul fame to translate those traces into a mixtape, a little thing he calls Bird Food. Read Rahdu’s statement below, listen and then scroll down for the tracklist and download link via BLS. Bird Lives!

 

Charlie Parker is still arguably one of the most innovative artists of our time. However, he is also one of the least celebrated. When conversations arise in mass media about artists of influence, his name is rarely mentioned. We’ve decided to remedy that by showing even after 60 years his music is still masterful and inspiring. Use Bird Food as your introduction to his influence… that is if you’re not already hip. – DJ Rahdu

>>>Download Bird Food (via BLS)

Chaka Khan – And the Melody Still Lingers On (A Night in Tunisia)
Duke Jordan – Night in Tunisia (DJ Jazzy Jeff Remix)
Miles Davis & Charlie Parker – A Night in Tunisia
Nice & Smooth – Down the line
Gangstarr – Manifest (Remix)
Smif N Wessun – War
Charlie Parker – Summertime
Gangstarrr – Jazz Thing
Charlie Parker – Cool Blues
Down South – Southern Confort
Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gilespie – Oop-Pop-A-Da
A.T.B.A.N Klann – Focus On You
Charlie Parker Septet – Moose the Mooche
Charlie Parker & Miles Davis – Moose the Mooche (Quantic Remix)
Choco -BeBop feat Rza (Live at The Rooftop)
Rob Swift – Cheers (Xecutioners Style) feat the Xecutioners


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