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Birditis

Ian Penman: The Obsession with Charlie Parker, 23 January 2014

Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker 
by Gary Giddins.
Minnesota, revised edition, 195 pp., £15, October 2013, 978 0 8166 9041 1
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Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker 
by Stanley Crouch.
Harper, 365 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 0 06 200559 5
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Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker 
by Chuck Haddix.
Illinois, 188 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 0 252 03791 7
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... impulse control.) At one point in Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker, Stanley Crouch describes Mrs Parker’s attitude to Rebecca as that towards an ‘interloper’; otherwise, no one embellishes this score with any oblique psychoanalytic riffs. (Oh, for a quick burst of Melanie Klein!) There’s a muggy feeling of various ...

National Treasure

Christopher Hitchens, 14 November 1996

Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir 
by John Davis.
Wiley, 256 pp., £14.99, October 1996, 0 471 12945 3
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... to go downhill. In The All-American Skin Game, a collection of essays by the black blues writer Stanley Crouch, I came across a tribute which shows the depth and range of feeling that the lady was capable – very probably to her own surprise – of evoking: Gatherings of domestic workers in my mother’s kitchen would admire her poise and ...

Diary

Adam Shatz: Ornette Coleman, 16 July 2015

... like Amiri Baraka, who hear a music of protest and revolt, and those, like Albert Murray and Stanley Crouch, who hear the sound of affirmation and pride. Coleman’s music shattered the false opposition, joyous in its repudiation of any restriction on freedom.‘This is our music,’ Coleman declared, and he did everything he could to maintain his ...

Backlash Blues

John Lahr, 16 June 2016

What Happened, Miss Simone? A Biography 
by Alan Light.
Canongate, 309 pp., £20, March 2016, 978 1 78211 871 8
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... like that. I think she liked it to be about her,’ the African-American music and cultural critic Stanley Crouch said of Simone’s musicianship, adding: ‘Her sound is freer than many sounds because she doesn’t imitate an instrument. She actually wants her sound to be a human sound.’ Listen to the resigned loneliness in her magnificent, trademark ...

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