Charlie Parker and Bix

Joined: March 16th, 2018, 8:41 am

September 5th, 2018, 10:18 am #1

From the BBC "Genome" website:-

IN A MIST
Third Programme, 2 March 1964 21.55

Synopsis

Charlie Parker
Bix Beiderbecke

David Sylvester considers certain parallels between the lives, deaths, and arts of perhaps the two most legendary figures in jazz history. He sees in both the special predicament of the jazz musician - that he is too serious an artist to be popular yet not serious enough to be 'legitimate,' and so feels himself to be falling between two worlds. Illustrated with gramophone records

- - - - - - - - -

David Sylvester's obituary:-

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2001/j ... aries.arts
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 5th, 2018, 12:25 pm #2

Charlie Parker Bix Beiderbecke 

They both liked Stravinsky and both died of lobar pneumonia.
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 4:56 pm

September 5th, 2018, 10:02 pm #3

Parker's drinking/addiction seems to have made him a much darker character.
'The official causes of death were lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer, but Parker also had an advanced case of cirrhosis and had suffered a heart attack.' Wikipedia.

And Bix's seizure...we can certainly say that they both died with lobar pneumonia. Which seems to become chronic in those who's cilia are paralyzed with depressant drugs.
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 11:08 pm

September 7th, 2018, 9:13 pm #4

I couldn't see a link to Nick's program. Mosaic just had this.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1976 ... y-balliett


Charlie once bent over telling someone to kick him for glamourizing heroin for his fans and followers. Bix died young, romantically?, from drink.
Bix was a great contributor to jazz becoming the most popular music in America for awhile. The leading band of Paul Whiteman sought him out for this reason. He also gets votes as the father of the jazz ballad.

Charlie can be seen as the depopularizer of jazz as the mainstream music. Along with Dizzy and Prez his music was so far out and complex and extreme, jazz was abandoned by the mainstream to a fringe following, but a following so extreme that jazz is now a religion or dictatorship that all players or listeners have to accept as being what jazz is. No more the free spontaneity and musical surprises that was Bix' music, Now the eighteen year olds are still playing to a formula, they call improvising, all those 80 year old Parker licks that just about bring me to tears or so it feels.

My favourite Parker solo although I prefer the other guys, though he does make them sound a bit old fashioned.

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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 4:56 pm

September 8th, 2018, 1:22 am #5

Pres was hardly too 'way out' to be an attractive feature for the Basie band. I think the bop 'revolution' was more about playing context. War time taxes and blue laws helped kill popular dancing, so most 'hot' players were more likely to play to seated audiences in small clubs.

The bop players, heard from a post hoc mindset, weren't THAT much 'beyond' the more interesting players of the 30s. Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Benny Carter, just about all of Ellington's soloists etc.
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Joined: March 17th, 2018, 5:01 am

September 8th, 2018, 2:13 am #6

carl wrote: I couldn't see a link to Nick's program. Mosaic just had this.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1976 ... y-balliett


Charlie once bent over telling someone to kick him for glamourizing heroin for his fans and followers. Bix died young, romantically?, from drink.
Bix was a great contributor to jazz becoming the most popular music in America for awhile. The leading band of Paul Whiteman sought him out for this reason. He also gets votes as the father of the jazz ballad.

Charlie can be seen as the depopularizer of jazz as the mainstream music. Along with Dizzy and Prez his music was so far out and complex and extreme, jazz was abandoned by the mainstream to a fringe following, but a following so extreme that jazz is now a religion or dictatorship that all players or listeners have to accept as being what jazz is. No more the free spontaneity and musical surprises that was Bix' music, Now the eighteen year olds are still playing to a formula, they call improvising, all those 80 year old Parker licks that just about bring me to tears or so it feels.

My favourite Parker solo although I prefer the other guys, though he does make them sound a bit old fashioned.

much enjoyed that Hodges alto sax blues
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Joined: March 24th, 2018, 11:32 pm

September 14th, 2018, 4:29 am #7

One important parallel between Bix and Charlie Parker: both had the invaluable support of musical collaborators who were nearly as talented artistically as they and were far more grounded and stable human beings: Frank Trumbauer in Bix's case and Dizzy Gillespie in Bird's.
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 6:05 am

September 14th, 2018, 6:34 am #8

mgconlan wrote: One important parallel between Bix and Charlie Parker: both had the invaluable support of musical collaborators who were nearly as talented artistically as they and were far more grounded and stable human beings: Frank Trumbauer in Bix's case and Dizzy Gillespie in Bird's.
I read a Gene Lees essay that made that precise point about precisely the same people.
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 4:56 pm

September 14th, 2018, 4:52 pm #9

Tram's diary note about Bix's collapse in Cincinnati (which I don't have at hand) expresses his weariness after 4 years of 'managing' Bix. Diz and Bird weren't as closely associated, but Bird seems to have found support that wouldn't interfere with his using from others as well. Finally with Pannonica.

Another parallel might be the way both Bix and Bird found associates who's alcoholism/addiction was at, or near, their level. Don Murray and Miles Davis come to mind.
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Joined: March 15th, 2018, 6:05 am

September 14th, 2018, 6:30 pm #10

Don Murray? You must mean PeeWee Russell, Eddie Condon, Jimmy McPartland and others who actually saw Bix in the last year or so of his life. And lived to tell the tale. Repeatedly.
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