Let us now praise famous avises: Charlie Parker, born August 29, 1920. Parker's been in the air a lot lately, what with the death of his bebop compatriot Max Roach. Like Billie Holiday, his art is still somehow strong enough to defy all of the categorization and commodification that's been heaped onto it. A hipster saint he may be, but burn your candles for the hard grace of his music. Suggested Night Lights listening: our August 2005 At the Birth of Bop program, featuring the 1945 Town Hall concert with a young Roach joining Bird and Dizzy Gillespie on drums for the first time, and our August 2004 Bird Alive show, featuring music from the CDs Boston 1952, One Night in Birdland, Live at the Rockland Palace, and more.
Nate Chinen on Bird in the New York Times last week.