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Bird of Paradise

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Album Review

Trumpeter Marcus Printup has established himself over a decade as one of the brightest stars on the jazz trumpet. With this recording, he shows promise as a bop stylist by paying homage to the legendary Charlie Parker, as ten of the eleven tracks come from Parker's repertoire. Saxophonist Ted Nash, himself a young and established performer, plays mostly alto and some tenor sax, with Japanese bassist Kengo Nakamura and drummer Shinnosuke Takahashi

held over from the previous Printup Steeplechase CD Peace in the Abstract. There is no pianist, but on five selections Riza Hequibal plays the harp, an interesting substitution for the 88s. The fare is predictable as far as arrangements, but the difference is the individualism of Printup and Nash. They have both studied the masters like Clifford Brown and Kenny Dorham, or Parker and Sonny Rollins, respectively. Printup has a refined approach, a bit on the cool side, while Nash tends to embrace risk, and stretches harmonic parameters. Everyone is in synch for a picture perfect rendition of the tricky and fleet "Donna Lee," while they trade riffs during "The Hymn" (aka "Trane's Blues" via Eddie Jefferson's vocalese,) and use more deft, witty counterpoint on "Confirmation." Of the harp pieces, they downshift "Now's the Time" to half-speed with Nash on tenor, reharmonize "All the Things You Are" as Parker did with the title track; Hequibal comps as would a jazz pianist, and they do two takes of the tender ballad "Lover Man," Printup playing with or without mute. The unhurried feel of this session is noticeable, as the calm side of bop is the watchword. The recording is bookended by the lone original, a restrained swinger "Stupendous," and the modal bass-buoyed finale, the lesser-known "Bird Feathers." While not a magnum opus or the breakthrough effort everyone knows is within Printup's grasp, this is a solid offering that pads an already substantive and growing discography. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

The Bird

Truly, Printup has captured the very spirit of "the Bird" and released it for our ears to enjoy. It is Parker without hearing the scratches on my records. Rhythmic, with a clarity of tone that expresses a fullness of sound and soul. Innovative, with a regular jazz section complemented by the serene harmonies of a harp. It is stupendous, as the first track claims.

a lifetime of enjoyment

I had the honor of attending school with marcus printup, and I have enjoyed his music since I was 10. The music is truley great.


Born: 1967 in Convers, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

A talented trumpeter with a lot of potential, Marcus Printup was discovered by Marcus Roberts at the University of North Florida in 1991. Printup started on trumpet in the fifth grade, played funk as a teenager, and in college was part of a ten-piece band called Soul Reason for the Blues. Since that time, he has toured and recorded with Roberts, played with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, recorded...
Full Bio
Bird of Paradise, Marcus Printup
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