• Record Label: EMI
  • Release Date: Jan 11, 2011
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Mar 17, 2011
    100
    Lovano's total authority over the materials and his instruments glows through every track.
  2. Parker's music is approached from a post-Coltrane, post-free jazz aesthetic, with the rhythmic edginess of bebop elided into an all-the-time-in-the-world fluidity. A masterpiece.
  3. 88
    Sticking mostly to his usual tenor sax instead of adopting Parker's alto, Lovano isolates the strands of Parker's musical DNA and shows how they're part of the music's ongoing regeneration.
  4. 83
    The vintage tunes inspire riskier improvs from Lovano, even when his rhythm section adheres to more straight-edged accompaniment.
  5. Mojo
    Apr 6, 2011
    80
    The stated modus operandi--everybody is leading and following--results in some fascinating new angles and delicious surprises on familiar material. [Apr 2011, p.107]
  6. Mar 7, 2011
    80
    The true tests of an album of compositions such as this are, firstly, that it produces original, stimulating music and, secondly, that it makes one return to the original versions to listen to them anew. On both counts, Bird Songs succeeds admirably.
  7. Feb 15, 2011
    80
    Bird Songs is unpretentious and as good a "mainstream" jazz record as you're likely to hear these days.
  8. Feb 1, 2011
    80
    Parker's compositions are not played as he intended (speedily, with torrents of notes); Lovano upends them, infusing them with modern sensibilities
  9. 75
    Though a showcase for history, Lovano and his band expertly show the many ways these classics can still throw sparks.
  10. Dec 5, 2011
    70
    These may be Bird songs, but they are not played the way Bird played them. Lovano and crew tend to slow them down and consider them, as if appending musical footnotes; if Parker was the quintessential bebop player, this is a determinedly post-bop interpretation.
  11. 70
    The elastic interplay of Us Five is in fact the main point of Bird Songs, which approaches its Parker-centric repertory as a springboard rather than an altar.
  12. Feb 1, 2011
    70
    The best stuff here isn't all that tough to love, however.

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