Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Happy belated birthday, Bird

Charlie Parker would have been 85 yesterday. It was through Jack Kerouac's hyping of him in On the Road that I got into jazz. I bought a generic label Parker album and I must say, I've been very fortunate in getting great deals on amazing jazz albums via un-traditional albums. My best Coltrane album is one I spent 25 pesos on on the streets of Mexico City. And the Parker one, well it is the very prestigious "Gold" label (because some of the words on the cover of the album are in, you guessed it, gold. Anyway, I can't fault the musical choices on the album-great takes of A Night in Tunisia, A Dizzy Atmosphere, Groovin' High, Ornithology and others. Anyway, when I first bought it, I listened to it, to the exclusion of any other CDs for proably the better part of ten days. In the last several years I've listened more to 'trane but still, given this anniversary, I think I'll hafta put Charlie back in the CD player and give him a spin. He was a genius whose music-making was light-years ahead of anyone else. He was just that innovative and gifted. It's a pity he wore himself out so early but thank God we have recordings of him. Charlie, thanks for your music.


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