Saturday, March 8, 2014

the last book I ever read (Stanley Crouch's Kansas City Lightning, excerpt one)

from Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker by Stanley Crouch:

Charlie Parker had been to New York before. He had hoboed up to Chicago in the early part of 1939, escaping a marriage that had gotten in the way of his music, fighting past influences, zeroing in on his own individual voice. After blowing out every alto player in town, he’d hopped a train to New York, where he spent about a year. Just as he’d started getting work, though, and earning the respect of fellow musicians, a death in his immediate family brought Parker back to Kansas City. After briefly working with another outfit, he had rejoined McShann’s new big band. Parker had been overwhelmed by the wild living he’d experienced in New York, but now he had more self-control and got back into the fold. In the next two years, he grew and grew, able to do more and more of what he wanted with the saxophone.

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