Phil Woods on eating pie with Bird
Now, A Jazz Moment...
MUSIC: "Klaunstance" CD: Yardbird Suite, Rhino RZ 72260 (disk 2, cut 5)
AT AGE 15, 2007 NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods realized his dreams. He and a friend were given the opportunity to meet their idol, saxophonist Charlie Parker, at a club in New York City.
Phil Woods: The bass player came and took us backstage and there was the great Charlie Parker backstage - those were speakeasies, you know, just a little curtain and a place to sit -- and Bird was on the floor with a big cherry pie. And he said, "Hi kids! Would you like a piece of cherry pie?" And I said, "Oh, Mr. Parker, cherry is my favorite flavor!" I mean what a thing to say to the genius of the bebop world. And he said, "Well you sit down here, son, and I'll cut you a big slab of this cherry pie. It's good!" Man, I sat down, no plates, he just handed me a slab of pie. And... what a world. The accessibility of the jazzers to the young players is kind of overlooked. But it is a tribal tradition, it's an oral tradition. There were no jazz schools in those days.
MUSIC: "Parker's Mood" CD: Yardbird Suite, Rhino RZ 72260 (disk 2, cut 6)
This Jazz Moment with saxophonist and clarinetist Phil Woods was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.