Sunday, March 23, 2014

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

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

We know nothing about how Charlie Parker arrived in the room where he recorded that day, how long it took him to get ready for his saxophone, how much time elapsed before it was ready for him, prepared to stand up under his enthusiasm. Yet we can picture him: Standing or seated, in dark glasses or none, eyes open or closed, at the perfect angle to see through a glass darkly. He blows without hesitation, lurching forward with pure lyric power. Swing and control of time are already there. No prisoners taken and none demanded. He sees the music clearly and knows what he must do with it. It comes to him in an unfinished outline, and he proves himself in private, not for that moment alone, but for all time. A whole leg spins audibly on the turntable. It is Charlie Parker, indisputably stepping through the air and waiting for the other limb to drop.

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