Kansas City Lightning
The Rise and Times of Charlie ParkerBook - 2013
The first of two volumes based on the life of one of the most talented and influential musicians of the 20th century reaches back past the legend to reveal Charlie Parker the wunderkind who was raised in the midst of the Depression in the wide-open town of Boss Tom Pendergast's Kansas City. 50,000 first printing.
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 recreates 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.
The first of two volumes tracing the life of one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century draws on interviews with family, peers, and collaborators to reveal Charlie Parker's Depression-era childhood and his early career in Kansas City and New York.