The Fruitful Marriage of American Jazz and the Avante Garde, Part I

by Wanda Waterman

The Voice Magazine, Volume 22 Issue 35 2014-09-05

“Late one evening, outside the Open Door in Greenwich Village, [Charlie] Parker, shuffling along in a pair of old carpet slippers, bumped into Jackie McLean. . . ’I want you to kick me in the ass, Jackie McLean, for letting me get myself in this position,’ Bird commanded, bending over … A few days later Parker borrowed McLean’s sax to make an out-of-town gig, a sax McLean had himself borrowed from a friend; Parker pawned it.”

– from Birth of the Cool: Beat, Bebop, and the American Avant Garde, by Lewis MacAdams

The above is one of the sadder moments from the decadent stage of one of the most important periods in American cultural history, an era whose phenomenal gifts could never have been handed out to the world were it not for certain peculiarities of the African-American saga and the intertwining of these peculiarities with the development of . . . (Read the rest here.)

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