kat himmel | curious thing
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bebop birthday bird

bebop birthday bird

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#art/#history: of him, miles davis said, 'you can tell the history of jazz in four words: louis armstrong. charlie parker.'
everyone knows armstrong, but i'd almost urge you to stop reading this now. go & listen to 1949's 340bpm 'bird gets the worm', then come back & learn about charlie bird parker with a richer perspective on this remarkable human being. born #otd in 1920, he'd die only 34 years later in the body that, according to the coroner who examined his corpse, was chronologically & biologically 60. charlie, you see, had ravaged his shell with heroin & alcohol. his bebop saxophone, it seems, could only deliver him from a modicum of the darkness that consumed him. the rest, he'd sublimate through substances. as he sat in the home of his benefactress, jazz patron baroness pannonica de koenigswarter, bird succumbed. dizzy gillespie made & paid for funeral arrangements. he organised a procession through harlem & fought to honour charlie's atheist wishes not to be interred. it would be to no avail. the family had his body returned to his birthplace in missouri & gave him a christian burial. poor old birdie, seemingly cursed & blessed in equal measure...from start to finish - but, o, what a ride.

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take me on home!