February and early March have been consumed by my work as Board Chair of PDX Jazz (Portland, Oregon), the presenting organization of the PDX Jazz Festival, which this year took place Feb. 15 – 25. Immediately following the Festival, I spent some time out on the road with a dear friend, exploring the clubs and museums of Kansas City and the surrounding prairie. Some highlights of the Festival events and
In an interview originally published on Jerry Jazz Musician in 2014, Charlie Parker biographer Stanley Crouch talks about the great saxophonist’s life and his book, Kansas City Lightening: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker
Theirs’ was a kind of mediation between then and now
No, it was a meditation on their only freedom: the deliverance of their music
No, no: a melding. One musician calling out: another answering.
Or maybe, a metaphor for the chorus of life
The way Lady-Day lamented the brief glory of
In a little town in Illinois, in a bar near the Wisconsin border, one man blew honey-dripping sounds from his saxophone. A woman’s body swayed in time with the sweetness emitting from that horn. She kept time with the beat and moved like melodic notes going up and down the scale. I imagined blowing musical sounds into her ear.
I crossed the wooden dance floor where she whirled, grabbed her hand and began to spin. Like musical notes, one black, one white, we danced all night. I softly sang into her ear, “Imagine how we’d dance in bed.”
She laughed in a low contralto voice, and changed it to a soprano when the high notes flowed.
Later when we were in bed and music played on her expensive speakers we continued our