The Kansas City alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, who was to post-second-world-war jazz what Louis Armstrong had been to its first wave, is as likely to be remembered today for his heroin habit and early death than for his exquisite and melodically stunning improvising. If that era's jazz is like journalism, Parker was its acutely observant war reporter, who kept coming back from the front of his own exploding world with new stories to tell.
On her two albums with Portland dream-pop trio Blouse, Charlie Hilton sang spectral, spindly songs that bear a mortal burden. On Palana, her solo debut, Hilton turns her gaze to a renewable kind of death: that of our morphing identities.
Pure and simple genius from trumpeter Charlie Shavers – a player with a sweet tone and a fluid groove – stepping out here with great accompaniment from pianist Ray Bryant! The CD brings together work from the albums Charlie Digs Paree and Charlie Digs Dixie – both originally recorded for MGM Records in the late 50s, and done in a clean, uncluttered style that really brought a strong focus to Shaver's solos, but also gave some excellent rhythmic support from Bryant – working here at the height of his early powers, in a mode that's clearly relaxed enough to get with the spirit of each different session.