Cover

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pp. 1-9

Contents

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pp. ix-11

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Prelude to the Revised Edition

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pp. xi-xv

charli e parker, who died at thirty-four in 1955, was an artist deeply embedded in jazz history, legendary yet omnipresent—a spring of anecdotal veneration—when Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker was first published in 1987. More than a quarter century later, he seems curiously less remote...

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1. Bird Lives!

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pp. 1-18

Mythologies die hard. The witness to Charlie Parker’s death heard a clap of thunder at the moment of his passing. The companion of his last years remains in spiritual contact with him after more than thirty years. His childhood...

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2. Youth

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pp. 19-54

Charles Parker Jr. was born August 29, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas, during a bitterly contested presidential election. In previous weeks, Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio had emerged as the compromise candidate for the Republicans,...

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3. Apprenticeship

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pp. 55-86

When Charlie landed in Chicago, most likely in the fall of 1938, before the bitter winds—the Chicago hawk—hit, he was as thin as the rails that brought him and not much better for wear. Bedraggled and exhausted, he nonetheless made...

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4. Mastery

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pp. 87-110

The second world war severely altered the texture and tempo of American life, and jazz reflected those changes more acutely and thoroughly than the other arts, with the arguable exception of painting. Popular music gave way to canned...

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5. Bird Lives

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pp. 111-145

The restored, revitalized Charlie Parker of 1947 is the illustrious Bird, the fabled Bird of a thousand acquaintances, numberless funny and harrowing anecdotes, and a profusion of masterpieces. The period of his ascension dates from his...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 147-150

Celebrating Bird first appeared in 1987 in an oversized format as part of a book and documentary film series produced by Toby Byron/Multiprises. At that time, we were locked into 128 pages and a strict deadline that resulted in a few excisions of content...

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A Selected Discography

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pp. 151-169

The discography in the original edition of Celebrating Bird consisted entirely of long-playing vinyl albums and has little value today as a guide, though the general observations and breakdown still hold true. It is reprinted here as the catalog of music...

A Selected Bibliography

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pp. 171-175

Photography Credits

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pp. 177-179

Index

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pp. 181-195