The Passion of Charlie Parker is a new album from producer Larry Klein that tells the story of Charlie Parker using his music as inspiration for new songs that narrate his life. Guest artists include Gregory Porter, Madeleine Peyroux, Kandace Springs, actor Jeffrey Wright, and more. The album will be available on impulse!/ Verve digitally on June 16, with physical release to follow on June 30.
Larry Klein says, "With this album I've endeavored to do something new and different in an effort to illustrate who ‘Bird' was as an archetypal character, and to draw attention to the huge impact that his work had on Jazz." Rather than create another tribute of traditional bebop tunes, Klein partnered with lyricist David Baerwald to create a musical play that tells the story of Charlie Parker's life while still playing with the jagged melodic nature of Charlie Parker's compositions.
Klein continues, "We worked together to create a narrative thread that runs through the album, and to create a tableau where the songs are delivered by a number of characters from Charlie's life, as well as three that are delivered in Charlie's own voice, played by Jeffrey Wright."
Actor Jeffrey Wright (HBO's Westworld) narrates as Charlie Parker, and guest artists include jazz artist Gregory Porter, Madeleine Peyroux, Melody Gardot, classical singer Barbara Hannigan, and vocalists Luciana Souza, Kurt Elling and YouTube Scat sensation Camille Bertault.
Featured musicians on the album include Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder, and Mark Giuliana – all of whom were involved in David Bowie's final album Blackstar, as well as jazz greats Craig Taborn, Larry Grenadier, Scott Colley and Eric Harland.