Archie Shepp & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen – Looking At Bird

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Looking at Bird is a studio album by American jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp and bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, featuring performances recorded in 1980 and released on the Danish-based SteepleChase label. The album consists of duets on composisitions written by, or associated with, Charlie Parker.

AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow:
Avant-garde tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp created a stir in 1977 when he recorded a set of hymns and folk melodies in melodic duets with pianist Horace Parlan. On February 6, 1980, he reunited with Parlan for a set of blues associated with Bessie Smith, and the following day, as a sort of sequel, Shepp played eight songs associated with Charlie Parker in collaboration with bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen. Although never a bebopper, Shepp does surprisingly well on such tunes as “Moose the Mooche,” “Ornithology,” “Yardbird Suite” and “Confirmation,” even if he makes the mistake of doubling on his erratic soprano during a few numbers. Archie Shepp pays tribute to Bird not by copying him, but by being creative and playing Parker’s repertoire in his own sound. Recommended (

Track listing:
All compositions by Charlie Parker except as indicated
“Moose the Mooche” – 6:26
“Embraceable You” (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) – 4:42
“Ornithology” (Benny Harris, Parker) – 5:45
“Billie’s Bounce” – 5:24
“Yardbird Suite” – 4:38
“Blues for Alice” – 5:48
“How Deep Is the Ocean?” (Irving Berlin) – 5:54
“Confirmation” – 5:43

Archie Shepp – soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen – bass


Released: 1981
Recorded: February 7, 1980
Label: SteepleChase
Producer: Nils Winther