Honouring a jazz great in Kanata
Metro's Trevor Greenway talks about the tribute at the Options Jazz Lounge
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Zakari Frantz is learning to fly.
The alto saxophonist will play the role of Charlie “Bird” Parker, essentially note for note when he and his crew of jazz cats take over the Options Jazz Lounge in Kanata this Saturday for Bird is the Word: A tribute to Charlie Parker.
Even he knows that he has his work cut out for him.
“It's definitely a furious book of repertoire,” says Frantz with a laugh.
“I never really
Parker has been one of the main influences for Frantz's
“When I first heard the tunes, I was blown away, because not only did I know every note on the recording, but I had never heard them before,” he laughs.
“I remember the first time I had ever heard a Charlie Parker recording, I jumped up out of my seat and ran straight to the stereo and sang along to every note of his solo and everyone said, 'wow, do you know this recording?' and I said, 'no, I've never heard this guy in my life.'”
Frantz soon became obsessed with Bird. It was the speed at which he could execute his sonic ideas that really made him a curious cat. He saw Parker's music more of a language than just sound – a sonic
“This guy is a human being expressing his own language that he wrote, and the more you listen to it, the more you understand it.”
One guy who speaks the same language is drummer Michel Delage, who has been putting on these tribute nights for the past year and a half.
He's done over a dozen tributes
“He is very into communicating and making music on the spot and really taking things to
Part of the appeal of playing a gig like this is the fact that the players get to completely bury their ears in one of their iconic sonic heroes for weeks – and with that comes a newfound appreciation for the music, and a discovery of new auditory details that, while subtle, are essential to the collective greatness of the track. For Delage and Frantz, it's like unlocking not just the sound of their
The tribute series goes once a month at the Options Jazz Lounge in Kanata. This week features Frantz, Delage, Alex Moxon on guitar and Alex Bilodeau on bass.