Charlie Parker was only 34 when he died in 1955, but he'd already changed the sound of jazz forever. Fans and fellow musicians were determined to celebrate him.
City of big shoulders, city on the make, and city of a hip, subtle, and wryly street-smart hardbop sound--Chicago in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Chicago is a historic capital of early jazz and post-World War II blues, but in the 1950s and early 60s it also had a thriving hardbop scene.
Novelist Nelson Algren and singer Billie Holiday are two iconic figures of mid-20th-century American culture, though Holiday is surely better-known than Algren.
Around this joint we are big fans of the jazz writer Larry Kart and his book, Jazz in Search of Itself. As I’ve noted in our store section, Kart, who worked at Downbeat and was a longtime reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, “is not just a good critic–he’s a very good writer, whether he’s discussing Wynton Marsalis and the so-called ‘neocon’ musicians, Lennie Tristano…
The story of Sun Ra's Chicago years, when he formed his Arkestra, forged his new identity, and wrote some of his most compelling music.