Misha Mengelberg: The Piano/Parrot Duet

Misha Mengelberg and a parrot, but not his parrot.

Photoshopped rendering of Misha Mengelberg playing off a parrot. Photo Illustration: Lars Gotrich; Photos: andynew via Flickr, iStock hide caption

itoggle caption Photo Illustration: Lars Gotrich; Photos: andynew via Flickr, iStock

Spring has arrived, all right, and here in Washington, D.C., it's been far too easy for us to listlessly stare out the window, not blogging, not posting more videos of Death Metal Satchmo ... WDUQ's Shaunna Morrison Machosky loves spring so much that she's written three Take Five lists on the subject: Swing Into Spring, Jazz In Bloom: May Flowers, and today's new entry, Jazz Is For The Birds.

As you can guess, it's all about birds, and how jazz musicians mimic them or are inspired by them (quite like that Louis Armstrong song, speaking of Satchmo). But I have to admit that I was a little bummed that no actual birds were in the recordings. Invisible Birds, "a small label releasing hand packaged limited edition cds & dvds evocative of birds and the landscapes they inhabit," has a "growing list of birds seen, heard, or read in the fine arts." Of the scant jazz-related offerings, one was just too great not to share.

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"Eeko," from Misha Mengelberg, Epistrophy (ICP). Recorded Jun. 6, 1972.

You'll have to forgive the extremely poor vinyl rip (not mine), but this duet between Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg and his pet parrot, Eeko, is just about the most delightful thing you'll hear today. There's slightly better quality audio on the Afjin DVD, which also includes live concert performances from the ICP Orchestra as well as a Mengelberg documentary.

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