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BOOK REVIEWS

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker

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Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker Stanley Crouch 365 ISBN:978-0-06-200559-5 Harper Collins 2013 Stanley Crouch's account of Charlie Parker's first twenty-one years isn't a litany of facts and antidotes rendered in an easily digestible form. Not unlike Parker, Crouch is brilliant, bold, ambitious, and mercurial. He delights in conjoining a dazzling array of topics, often introducing a particular subject, moving on to something else, and later on revisiting the original concept in a different guise. Nothing stands in isolation; everything is interrelated. The book is filled with extended journeys ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Testimony: A Tribute To Charlie Parker

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Testimony: A Tribute To Charlie Parker Yusef Komunyakaa 156 pages ISBN: 978-0-8195-7429-9 Wesleyan University Press 2013 In terms of his global influence and enduring legacy, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker was unquestionably one of the most important artistic figures of the 20th century. Almost sixty years after his premature demise Parker's musical DNA can be detected almost everywhere jazz is played. Parker's music--and in no small measure his myth--has inspired countless jazz musicians but it has also inspired authors, painters, film makers and a surprising number of poets to pay their own form of ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker by Gary Giddins

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Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker Gary Giddins 208 pages ISBN: 978-1-4529-4080-9 University of Minnesota Press 2013 Having read Gary Giddins' revised edition of Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker I am even more committed to my position in my recent review of Stanley Crouch's Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker: “Crouch casts a well-worn story, many times told, within the frame of an exhaustively-researched social history of Black America surrounding World War II." Every one of the half dozen Parker biographies tells the same ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker

Read "Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker"

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker Stanley Crouch 365 Pages ISBN: # 978-0-06-200559-5 Harper 2013 Ross Russell, in the cover blurb of his biography of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker Bird Lives--The High Life and hard Times of Charlie “Yardbird" Parker (Quartet Books, 1973), asks “Why should a white man tell this story?" and proceeds to state the obvious: “Firstly, because [as Ross Russell points out] no black man has done it yet." Now, after nearly 30 years of threatening to do so, columnist and social critic Stanley Crouch has ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker by Charles Haddix

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Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie ParkerCharles Haddix190 PagesISBN: 025203791University of Illinois Press2013 Charlie Parker shares with delta blues legend Robert Johnson the lack of a comprehensive and academically-sound biography. Johnson's biographical material is strewn across several books, the earliest riddled with romance and inaccuracy, periodical articles and liner notes. While at least two completed or near completed biographies by the late Stephen Calt and Mack McCormick molder in manuscript on some shelf, Steve LaVere, the keeper of all things Johnson, remains content to collect royalties ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Charlie Parker: The Complete Masters 1941-54

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Charlie ParkerThe Complete Masters 1941-54Universal France2012 It is possible that more “complete" collections of the work of Charlie Parker have been released than there were recordings made by the saxophonist. And as you beat your way through the box set undergrowth, caution is required. Few of the collections are, in fact, complete, even within the parameters (complete live, complete studio, complete with strings, etc) by which they define themselves. In the hands of record company marketing departments, “complete" can take on a stretchability that would be the envy of Marvel Comics' ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Cookers and the Vijay Iyer Trio, at Charlie Parker Jazz Festival 2010

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Charlie Parker Jazz FestivalTompkins Square ParkNew York, NYAugust 29, 2010After a blistering blues-based set by New York-based singer Catherine Russell, the 7-piece hard-bop ensemble The Cookers (Billy Harper: tenor sax; Eddie Henderson and David Weiss: trumpets; Craig Handy: alto sax and flute; George Cables: piano; Cecil McBee: bass and Billy Hart: Drums) took to the stage with a hard-driving number that shifted time signatures, going from a blues-inflected groove to a more syncopated tempo and back again. The tune featured great solos from Harper, Weiss and Cables, who set the tone for the entire performance.



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