Kansas City Lightning: The Rise And Times Of Charlie Parker

Hardcover | September 24, 2013

byStanley Crouch

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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.

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From the Publisher

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 torture...

From the Jacket

No musician has lived a more transformational, or more tragic, life than Charlie Parker, one of the most talented and influential figures of the twentieth century. From the start of his career in the late 1930s, Parker was a new kind of American artist: a revolutionary musician who internalized all of popular music and blew it back thr...

Stanley Crouch has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, for his essay collectionsNotes of a Hanging JudgeandThe All-American Skin Game. His other books includeAlways in Pursuit,The Artificial White Man, and the acclaimed novelDon't the Moon Look Lonesome. He has served on and off as the artistic consultant f...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.24 inPublished:September 24, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062005596

ISBN - 13:9780062005595

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“An instant classic. . . . With a novelist’s sensibility . . . Crouch portrays Parker’s world more vividly than anything I have ever read previously. . . . Parker ‘lives’ in Crouch’s telling.”