Best Jazz Detective (2011)

Phil Schaap

Coffee's great, but nothing quite compares to waking up as a bug on the wall weekday mornings during Bird Flight's endless investigation on WKCR of Charlie Parker. Host Phil Schaap is the multiple Grammy winner (for producing, historical writing, and historical engineering) and jazz savant sifting through the ashes of Parker's life and career with the rigor and weirdness of a Talmudic scholar. Cross-stitching long, flatly intoned investigations of the mundane—the wrong notes Parker played on some alternate take, what the band had for breakfast on a given afternoon before a session—with the incredible music that came from it, the best of it still alive 60 years out with the spark of the truly new and newly true, the show frequently rewards listeners willing to bear Schaap's sometimes endless monologues with fresh insights from unexpected angles into how art is born from rougher materials. WKCR 89.9 FM 8:20 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday


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