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Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker
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Blackstone Publishing 2014
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Description

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker is the first installment in the long-awaited portrait of one of the most talented and influential musicians of the twentieth century, from Stanley Crouch, one of the foremost authorities on jazz and culture in America.

Throughout his life, Charlie Parker personified the tortured American artist: a revolutionary performer who used his alto saxophone to create a new music known as bebop even as he wrestled with a drug addiction that would lead to his death at the age of thirty-four. Drawing on interviews with peers, collaborators, and family members, Kansas City Lightning re-creates Parker's Depression-era childhood; his early days navigating the Kansas City nightlife, inspired by lions like Lester Young and Count Basie; and on to New York, where he began to transcend the music he had mastered. Crouch reveals an ambitious young man torn between music and drugs, between his domineering mother and his impressionable young wife, whose teenage romance with Charlie lies at the bittersweet heart of this story.

With the wisdom of a jazz scholar, the cultural insights of an acclaimed social critic, and the narrative skill of a literary novelist, Stanley Crouch illuminates this American master as never before.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
01/01/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781482967623

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Stanley Crouch. (2014). Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker. Unabridged Blackstone Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Stanley Crouch. 2014. Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker. Blackstone Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Stanley Crouch, Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker. Blackstone Publishing, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Stanley Crouch. Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker. Unabridged Blackstone Publishing, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:11:11
Date Updated:
Dec 08, 2020 20:15:00
Last Metadata Check:
Jul 18, 2024 11:02:18
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        Stanley Crouch has been writing about jazz music and the American experience for more than forty years. He has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, for his essay collections Notes of a Hanging Judge and The All-American Skin Game. His other books include Always in Pursuit, The Artificial White Man, and the acclaimed novel Don't the Moon Look Lonesome. Since 1987 he has served on and off as the artistic consultant for jazz programming at Lincoln Center and is a founder of the jazz department known as Jazz at Lincoln Center. The president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, he is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a regular columnist for the New York Daily News.

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Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker is the first installment in the long-awaited portrait of one of the most talented and influential musicians of the twentieth century, from Stanley Crouch, one of the foremost authorities on jazz and culture in America.

Throughout his life, Charlie Parker personified the tortured American artist: a revolutionary performer who used his alto saxophone to create a new music known as bebop even as he wrestled with a drug addiction that would lead to his death at the age of thirty-four. Drawing on interviews with peers, collaborators, and family members, Kansas City Lightning re-creates Parker's Depression-era childhood; his early days navigating the Kansas City nightlife, inspired by lions like Lester Young and Count Basie; and on to New York, where he began to transcend the music he had mastered. Crouch reveals an ambitious young man torn between music and drugs, between his domineering mother and his impressionable young wife, whose teenage romance with Charlie lies at the bittersweet heart of this story.

With the wisdom of a jazz scholar, the cultural insights of an acclaimed social critic, and the narrative skill of a literary novelist, Stanley Crouch illuminates this American master as never before.

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      • source: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
      • content: "Kansas City Lightning succeeds as few biographies of jazz musicians have...This book is a magnificent achievement; I could hardly put it down."
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      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Like the massive presidential bios of Stephen Ambrose and Robert Caro, this book, about jazz giant Charlie Parker--nicknamed "Bird"--is slated to be a multi-volume affair. This first installment covers Parker's formative years in Kansas City, and formidable jazz critic Crouch paints a vivid picture of not just Parker's life but also the rise of this mostly African-American art form, getting as far as Parker's move to New York, where soon he would make history with the advent of bebop. One would be hard-pressed to find a more solid narrator than Kevin Kenerly--his voice jumps and dances with all the mad rhythm of a Bird solo, but it's never breathlessly histrionic. It's a great treatment of a great book, which begs the question--when's the next volume coming out? J.S.H. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
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      • source: Publisher's Weekly
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        July 29, 2013
        With the straight-ahead timing and the ethereal blowing of a great jazzman, Crouch delivers a scorching set in this first of two volumes of his biography of Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, capturing the downbeats and the up-tempo moments of the great saxophonist’s life and music. Drawing on interviews with numerous friends, fellow musicians, and family members, Crouch traces Parker’s life from his earliest days in Kansas City, Mo., his early romance and eventual marriage to Rebecca Ruffin, and his heroin addiction to his involvement with his mentors Lester Young and Buster Smith. Crouch brings to life the swinging backdrop against which Parker honed his craft: “Kansas City was becoming a kind of kind of experimental laboratory, where the collective possibilities of American rhythm were being refined and expanded on a nightly basis.” Parker eventually decides that Kansas City isn’t big enough for him, and he rides the rails to Chicago and New York, ending up on Buster Smith’s doorstep, eager to absorb all the lessons the big city has to teach him. “By now, he had long since mastered the physical challenges of playing... and become preoccupied with the coordination of mind and muscle necessary to make his own way.” As Crouch reminds us, however, “Charlie Parker, no matter how highly talented, was not greater than his idiom. But his work helped to lead the art form to its most penetrating achievement.”

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Throughout his life, Charlie Parker personified the tortured American artist: a revolutionary performer who used his alto saxophone to create a new music known as bebop even as he wrestled with a drug addiction that would lead to his death at the age of thirty-four. Drawing on interviews with peers, collaborators, and family members, Kansas City Lightning re-creates Parker's Depression-era childhood; his early days navigating the Kansas City nightlife, inspired by lions like Lester Young and Count Basie; and on to New York, where he began to transcend the music he had mastered. Crouch reveals an ambitious young man torn between music and drugs, between his domineering mother and his impressionable young...

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