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Jimmy Heath: Langston Hughes Library, Flushing, New York, 30th April 2013
It was impossible to make a choice! This is Charlie Parker with Strings (Mercury Records, 1950)a compilation of all the Charlie Parker with Stringsnot just the one studio performance; there's some live performances. Someone at The Charlie Parker organisation that used to give the benefits for Charlie Parkerthe Foundation that his wife startedmade this compilation and they gave them out to some of the sponsors and people who came to support that organisation. There are recordings from the Apollo Theatre and different venues. It's a unique collectionas you know, it's Charlie Parker man. Charlie Parker, one of the geniuses of our music. So, you know I've heard people say, "if you don't play no Charlie Parker you ain't playing jazz!" Everybody takes a little bit of Charlie Parker in their improvisation.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.