Frenzy played a key role in Charlie Parker’s music, so a bit of mania always helps the equation when artists salute the iconic jazz saxophonist. You can definitely hear it in Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls project, which refracts sections of Parker’s itchy bop themes in ways that allow the bandleader’s quintet to develop a handful of new designs (and incorporate his Indian heritage). It’s a wise booking that finds the group on the final afternoon of this year’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, the annual uptown/downtown bash that invariably feels cozy and cool – a micro fest for those stuck in town during the summer months. This edition isn’t shy about covering lots of bases. The Oliver Lake Big Band kicks things off in Marcus Garvey Park on Friday night; Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jeff Watts, Andy Bey and others continue there on Saturday. And Sunday Joe Lovano, Myra Melford and Mahanthappa tip their hats at Tompkins Square. Tell everyone you know – now’s the time.
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Aug 21 – 23