charlie parker

Charlie Parker and his band

From a comment:

If that is Max Roach on drums, then that is around the time Bird was a constant performer at the Royal Roost. I don’t see Miles Davis in the group, so I would assume this is after the Christmas of 1948. If that is Kenny Dorham on Trumpet, which it looks like, then this is probably after 1948.

Miles Davis left the group, because he said he didn’t ‘like the way Duke Jordan,’ looked at him. Miles told Charlie Parker, “I don’t like the way he looks at me. We should kick him out the band.”..Bird told Miles, “Miles, the day you get your own band you can kick out whoever, until then, he stays.” Kenny Dorham became the immediate replacement of Miles Davis, after Miles pulled a no show Christmas Eve 1948 and started his own thing.

Jean-Michel Basquiat - “Horn Players” (1983, acrílico y barra de óleo sobre lienzo, 243 x 190 cm, The Broad Art Foundation, Los Ángeles)

Para animar el fin de semana, un poco de jazz interpretado por Charlie Parker y Dizzie Gillespie, acompañados con mucho arte por Jean-Michel Basquiat, que los eleva al panteón de los dioses al retratarlos en este original tríptico de fondo negro. Basquiat fue el primero en llevar el arte callejero a las galerías de arte. Se hizo famoso de la noche a la mañana pero, incapaz de soportar la presión mediática, murió de sobredosis a los 27 años, como tantos otros genios. Las palabras y frases que llenan sus obras, que a veces tachaba para llamar la atención del espectador, son un remanente de su etapa como grafitero en las calles de Manhattan. Junto a su colega Al Díaz, llenaba las paredes de la ciudad con frases irónicas e ingeniosas que llamaron la atención de los críticos y que firmaban con el nombre de SAMO (acrónimo de Same Old Shit, la misma mierda de siempre).  No sabemos a quien corresponde la cabeza calavera que Basquiat ha pintado en el centro de la composición, uno de los motivos recurrentes de sus obras. El señor de la derecha es Dizzy Gillespie, con su trompeta, cantando una de esas palabrejas inventadas que utilizaba para sus improvisaciones: “Ooh shoo de obee”. A la izquierda está Charlie Parker tocando su saxo alto (podemos ver la música saliendo del instrumento). En ese mismo panel, aparecen los nombres de Chan, la esposa sin papeles de Parker, y de Pree, la hija de ambos. Y por todo el lienzo, repetido una y otra vez, el título del tema Ornithology de Charlie Parker, que hacía referencia a su apodo: Bird. Charlie Parker y Dizzy Gillespie improvisaban con sus instrumentos. Basquiat lo hacía con la pintura. Obras creadas sobre la marcha, sin un plan previo. Sabían dónde empezaban, pero nunca dónde acabarían. 

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“I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker  

“In 1949, The Pershing Ballroom in Chicago was packed. The band had been playing for some time and Charlie Parker had not arrived. There was a little unrest among the fans out front – after all, it had been billed as ‘Charlie Parker with Dizzy Gillespie and his Big Band.’ After a rather anxious intermission, Dizzy introduced Bird and the excitement level reached fever pitch! After some time, Parker wanted a breather. Diz would spin Bird around and shove him towards the microphone and kick off the next number. He knew when Bird left the stand the blowing was over.” So remembers photographer Ted Williams, who was there at The Pershing Ballroom that night in 1949.

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“William P. Gottlieb was an American photographer and newspaper columnist who is best known for his classic photographs of the leading performers of the ‘Golden Age’ of American Jazz in the 1930s and 1940s. Gottlieb’s photographs are among the best known and widely reproduced images of this era of jazz.” (x)

Photographed are: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, 52nd Street, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, Teddy Hill, and Lena Horne.