All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Profiles

672

Jeff Robinson: Rare Bird Sighting

Timothy J. O'Keefe By

Sign in to view read count
April is Jazz Appreciation Month. It's also National Poetry Month, and every Sunday night, the Jeff Robinson Trio accompanies poets at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The trio provides collective jazz improvisation based on the rhythmic cadence of each poet, creating music that is truly unique to each performance.

Jeff Robinson hails from St. Louis and moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. To create his one-person play, Live Bird, which is based on the life of Charlie Parker, Robinson creatively draws from his experiences in acting, music and poetry.

In the world of jazz, few musicians are as iconic as Parker. Parker, known as Bird, came of age in Kansas City during the Great Depression—a time when shady politics, bootleg liquor and gambling created an environment in which jazz would thrive. During the 1920s, the vaudeville acts in which Parker's father had performed began to fade as a form of entertainment. In their place, something new began to emerge. Glowing, neon tubes sparked and buzzed venue names in electric light, and inside the venues, some of the era's leading jazz musicians could find regular employment. At places like the Sunset Cafe and the Reno, Parker heard music rooted in blues traditions that used rhythmic figures and contained long melody lines. The sound would become known to a broader audience as Kansas City Swing. These musical influences, along with Parker's desire to discover new sounds, would forge a driving presence in jazz.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Savoy Records: From Newark To The World Profiles
Savoy Records: From Newark To The World
by Jordan Levy
Published: February 6, 2018
Read Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved Profiles
Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved
by Martin McFie
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Zara McFarlane: Embodying the Spirit of Jamaica Profiles
Zara McFarlane: Embodying the Spirit of Jamaica
by David Burke
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Matthew Yeakley: Keeping the Profession and Art of Jazz Alive in Los Angeles Profiles
Matthew Yeakley: Keeping the Profession and Art of Jazz...
by Jonathan Manning
Published: January 11, 2018
Read Fabian Almazan: Environmental Action Figure Profiles
Fabian Almazan: Environmental Action Figure
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: January 9, 2018
Read Gilly’s Remembered Profiles
Gilly’s Remembered
by Michael J. Williams
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Gilly’s Remembered" Profiles Gilly’s Remembered
by Michael J. Williams
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Mark Turner: Grounded in a Spiritual World" Profiles Mark Turner: Grounded in a Spiritual World
by Kurt Rosenwinkel
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Courtney Pine: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" Profiles Courtney Pine: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
by David Burke
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Savoy Records: From Newark To The World" Profiles Savoy Records: From Newark To The World
by Jordan Levy
Published: February 6, 2018