part 3 – Monk, Dizzy and Bird
Sam Charters: I thought I would talk about the three black performers that Jack talks about so specifically – Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.
Thelonious Monk, was one of the most challenging of the three and played with them. Thelonious, unlike the other two, had severe technical limitations . I remember watching him at the Five Spot and I was always afraid when he played one of those descending runs he was going to beak his wrist, because he just never seemed to be able to quite get it
This weekend – jazz weekend, we’ll present legendary jazz scholar, Sam Charters (in a talk given on July 26, 1982 at The Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary On The Road Conference) – “Jack’s Jazz’
Today, just a few brief moments from his opening remarks. Tomorrow, a full transcription of his lucid talk.
[note – none of the illustrations or the hyperlinks are the responsibility of Sam Charters – this recording begins in media res – Charters has been just playing a series of representative early swing band recordings]
AG: It’d be funny to write a poem (like “The Voice of Robert Desnos”) that’s totally extravagant in confidence, and then followed by a line that’s a complete flop, announcing a complete failure of power, to go back and forth from line to line, that’d be a funny one – a funny exercise. “I own the Empire State and the Woolworth Building,/the landlord is coming to take me away from my hovel.”..”I declare war on Mars,/I just got arrested for jaywalking around the block”..”My armies will conquer Nicaragua [editorial note, this is 1981],/That fat teacher … Read More
AG: We also have, moving on fast to Robert Desnos, who died in a concentration camp during World War II – 1900 you’ll find him.. [Allen is referring here to his listing in the classroom anthology] – “The Voice of Robert Desnos” – “So much like the flower and the current of air/like the waterway like the shadows passing everywhere/like the smile glimpsed this amazing evening at midnight/so much like everything happiness and sadness/it’s yesterday’s midnight lifting its naked torso above/belfries and poplars./ I’m calling those lost in the countryside/the old corpses the young oaks … Read More