Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Priestley, Brian. “Charlie Parker and Popular Music.” Annual Review of Jazz Studies 14 (2009): 83-99.

The reception history of Charlie Parker as a thoroughly original artist overlooks the influence of popular music on the altoist's recordings and performances. An exaggerated focus on technique over context in jazz performance pedagogy ignores this crucial historical element of Parker's musical development. Parker's colleagues and bandmates provide anecdotal evidence that he not only knew popular tunes, but played and practiced them frequently. Schenkerian analysis demonstrates that some of Parker's compositions correspond strongly to popular tunes both melodically and harmonically. This applies even to Parker's use of altered and extended harmonies, which can be found in many popular tunes that predate Parker's career.

Works: Sam H. Stept (composer) and Charlie Parker (performer): I'm Painting the Town Red (86); Charlie Parker: Ballade (87), Confirmation (87-89), My Little Suede Shoes (89-91); George Gershwin (composer) and Charlie Parker (performer): Embraceable You (92); Charlie Parker: Koko (93-96).

Sources: Sam H. Stept: I'm Painting the Town Red (86); Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler: As Long as I Live (87); Herb Magidson and Allie Wrubel: (I’m Afraid) The Masquerade is Over (87-89); Henri Giraud: Pedro Gomez (90), Le petit cireur noir (90); Zequinha de Abreu: Tico-Tico (90); George Gershwin: Embraceable You (92); Sam Coslow: A Table in a Corner (92); Ray Noble: Cherokee (93-96).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Jazz

Contributed by: Nathan Blustein

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