Charlie Parker

V&B – Jazz & The Atomic Age

In this episode of Views & Brews, KUT’s Rebecca McInroy joins Rabbi/Jazz Historian Neil Blumofe and a live jazz ensemble (Sam Penke – bass, Ephraim Owens – trumpet, Andre Hayward – trombone, Scott Laningham – drums, Mike Malone – saxophone) in a discussion about jazz, post-war paranoia, and the Atomic Age, with a focus on the music of mid-century America, highlighting the work of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington. Beyond the old duck and cover drills of the Cold War, how do we cope with the constant threat of existential disaster? How does our music reflect our hopes and our anxieties? How do we distinguish between the treacle of intoxicating propaganda and the ineffable wonder that transforms our soul? What truly, conquers our fears?

V&B: Jazz & the Art of Psychoanalysis

In this episode of Views & Brews, KUT’s Rebecca McInroy joins Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Dr. Judith Coffin, Mark Micale in discussion on the parallel development of psychoanalysis and jazz in the early 20th century. What does it mean to listen? What does it mean to reveal? How can closing our vulnerablities make us more resilient? What happens when Freud meets Coltrane?

Join us as we reflect upon the open and concealed ways that our spirit and minds can join, and listen to standards within the jazz canon.

Musicians: Russell Haight (tenor), Altim Sencalar (trombone), Sean Giddings (piano), Sam Pankey (bass), and David Sierra (drums).

Phil Woods (10.11.15)

In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the life, work, and legacy of jazz saxophonist Phil Woods.

Red Rodney (9.27.15)

Red Rodney was an American bebop and hard bop trumpet player who made came up with mentors like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. In his lifetime he saw much hardship, including the loss of his wife and daughter in a car accident, and the loss of many of his contemporaries in the jazz world.

In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about what it means to be a “survivor”, and how jazz, and specifically bebop, allows us to confront oppression through resistance, revolution, and reckoning.

Steve Coleman (9.20.15)

Steve Coleman is an American saxophonist, composer, and band leader who’s work bridges the gaps between spirituality, culture, and time. In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the significance of Coleman’s work in our lives today. He suggests that through the music of Steve Coleman we can understand the complexities of our lives and identities, both as meaning everything and nothing in the same moment.

Jackie McLean (5.17.15)

Jackie McLean was and American jazz alto saxophone player, who came up in New York City with greats like Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Charles Mingus. He went on to, not only record with a  wide range of musicians, but he also worked to educate generations of players though presence.

In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the important lessons McLean’s life and legacy can teach us about our place in the world today, what we give, and how we navigate the sanctity of each moment.

Dexter Gordon (3.29.15)

Dexter Gordon was an American jazz saxophone player, who helped to cement the bebop style post Charlie Parker and others.  He spent most of his career playing, composing and recording in Europe, as it was a more, “harmonious” place to live and create.

In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe, talks about what the life and legacy of Dexter Gordan can teach us about exploration, diversity, and acceptance.

Lee Konitz (1.1.15)

Lee Konitz is an American jazz composer and alto saxophonist, who continues to build space for evolving styles and techniques in his work on the alto-sax. Inspired by Benny Goodman, Konitz carved out a sound that was, at times, contrary to prevailing ideas of what was “cool” in jazz in the shadow of Charlie Parker.

In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the importance of Konitz’s life and work, and what his dedication to his craft can teach us about re-inventing our days and selves as we live.


Kenny Dorham (8.31.14)

Kenny Dorham was an American jazz trumpeter who worked with Art Blakey, Charlie Parker and Max Roach among others to help craft the bebop style in mid century America. In addition to his work as a sideman he also formed his own group, The Jazz Prophets featuring Bobby Timmons on piano, bassist Sam Jones, and tenorman J.R. Monterose, with guest Kenny Burrell on guitar.

In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe considers to significance of Kenny Dorham the musician and prophet, and allows us to examine the power in the present moment through his work.

Miles Davis (5.25.14)

Miles Davis is considered one of the most innovative and influential musicians of the 20th century. He added his voice to the narratives of our culture at significant points, and offered a perspective which considered the sanctity of silence in each moment. In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi Neil Blumofe acknowledges what Miles Davis can teach us through this approach, not only in music but in our daily lives.

Mary Lou Williams (5.11.14)

Mary Lou Williams was a a giant in the jazz world in the beginning of the 20th century. As an arranger, composer and pianist she worked with Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman and went on to mentor jazz legends like Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.

In this installment of Liner Notes Rabbi, jazz historian and musician Neil Blumofe explores how the idea of a “Mother” can be extended beyond our biological lines to include those who love and nurture us, and help to bring us up in this world so we can in turn help and love others.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Charlie Parker (12.15.13)

American jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker crafted the sound that was eventually called bebop. This deeply soulful music gave him and other musicians a way to express themselves in original ways. Parker’s addiction to heroine unfortunately cut his life short at just 34 years old. He died in the hotel room of his friend Nica.