Category: Parker, Charlie

Stanley Crouch on Charlie Parker in New York Times


From a September 19 New York Times podcast, Stanley Crouch discusses his new book about Charlie Parker’s early life and social world.

Since the early ’80s, the writer Stanley Crouch has been working on a biography of the jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker; in jazz circles through the last generation, the book has become almost mythic.

Suddenly it’s real: “Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker” (the first part of a projected two-volume project), describing Parker’s life and social world to the age of 20, will be published next week by HarperCollins.

Mr. Crouch spoke with the host Ben Ratliff about the uncanny and wide-ranging abilities of his subject, the after-hours underworld of prewar Kansas City, the sixth sense of street research, and how a single book can take 32 years to write.

Click here to listen to Stanley Crouch on Charlie Parker in New York Times


Four Charlie Parker Interviews

Here are four 1950s era Parker interviews released at one time or another on LP or CD that have been transcribed at the great Miles Davis website Miles Ahead:

  • May 1950, New York: with Marshall Stearns and John Maher
  • March 1951, New York: with Leonard Feather
  • June 1953, Boston: with John McLellan
  • January 1954, Boston: with John McLellan and Paul Desmond

They are all great, read ’em up.

Click here to read Four Charlie Parker Interviews

Charlie Parker interviewed by Paul Desmond

This is a fantastic interview of Bird by the great Paul Desmond and John McLellan on station WHDH in Boston in early 1954 when Parker was booked at the Hi-Hat Club for a week (January 18-24). A gem.

Click here to read the text of Charlie Parker interviewed by Paul Desmond, or listen to the audio of the interview below:

Charlie Parker in Downbeat 1949: No Bop Roots In Jazz

Most of Downbeat’s archive is behind their subscription wall, but they do post a few classic interviews for the lurkers (I will try to get them all linked here soon!).

No Bop Roots In Jazz: Parker by Michael Levin and John S. Wilson, dated 9th September, 1949 is culled from two different interviews with Bird and covers some of his thoughts on topics like Paul Hindemith, Dizzy, and the origins of bebop.

Click here to read No Bop Roots In Jazz: Parker