Thursday, 12 March 2015

Charlie Parker Died 60 Years Ago Today

Yes, Bird flew the nest on March 12th 1955...although it's uncertain how he got the nickname 'Yardbird', shortened to 'Bird', appropriately, because his flights of improvisation were something else, from somewhere else...planet Bop of his own mental sphere spinning magical lines 'round and 'round...reinventing standards and writing his original things such as this... 

...of course I never met Charlie Parker but I knew Slim Gaillard back when he was a Wag Club regular in the 80s so that was getting close to the legend by association, right? And you can bet I'll always savour the memory of buying drinks for (he never bought me one, the tight sod!) the man who did know Charlie Parker. The guest spot on Slim's Jam is great, not only for it's informality and Slim's vout-speak but also hearing Bird-orooni talk... (at 1.07) I made this piece of art a few months back as part of a Bop/Bird whatever tribute...I do really hope you 'dig it the most'...heh!

"... and up on the stand Bird Parker with solemn eyes who'd been busted fairly recently and had now returned to a kind of bop dead Frisco but had just discovered or been told about the Red Drum, the great new generation gang wailing and gathering there, so here he was on the stand, examinign them with his eyes as he blew his now-settled-down-into-regulated-design "crazy" notes ... whom I saw distinctly digging Mardou several times also myself directly into my eye looking to search if really I was that great writer I thought myself to be as if he knew my thoughts and ambitions or remembered me from other night clubs and other coasts, other Chicagos - not a challenging look but the king and founder of the bop generation at least the sound of it in digging his audience digging the eyes, the secret eyes him-watching, as he just pursed his lips and let great lungs and immortal fingers work, his eyes separate and interested and humane, the kindest jazz musician there could be while being and therefore naturally the greatest - watching Marldou and me in the infancy of our love and probably wondering why, or knowing it wouldn't last, or seeing who it was would be hurt..." - Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans

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