Getting Naked With Charlie "Bird" Parker at the Wildest Party in L.A. History

Categories: Jazz

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Courtesy of the William P. Gottlieb Collection
Charlie Parker, the party animal, on sax
Charlie "Bird" Parker has been called the greatest saxophonist who ever lived, a jazz legend who not only spearheaded the bebop movement but also laid the foundations of modern jazz.

He was also a party animal.

In 1952, Los Angeles would play host to one of Parker's wildest exploits. The New York-based musician was in L.A. for some club gigs, even as his health was rapidly declining -- fat, and alternately strung out on heroin or in the throes of withdrawal, he nursed his pain with alcohol binges. He went hard until the end. When Parker died in 1955 from a bleeding ulcer and liver disease, the coroner estimated his body to be between 50 and 60 years of age. He was 34.

See also: Ten Jazz Albums to Hear Before You Die

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The 10 Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Scott Soderberg
Geri Allen

These are the best jazz shows in NYC in July.

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The 10 Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Luciano Rossetti
Charles Gayle
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in June.

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The 10 Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Shervin Lainez
Marc Ribot
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in May.

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The 10 Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month (Jazz Appreciation Month Edition)

Categories: Jazz

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Photo: Carolyn Wachnicki
Anthony Braxton
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in April, otherwise known as Jazz Appreciation Month! Read more about JAM and the JazzApril campaign.

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The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Chris Speed, tenor saxophone; Jim Black, drums
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in March.

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The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Arturo O'Farrill

These are the best jazz shows in NYC in February.

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The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Krzysztof Machowina
Henry Threadgill

Winter Jazzfest
It grows and grows. The 10th anniversary Winter Jazzfest spans five nights (Jan. 7-11), nine venues and over 90 bands. There'll be three standalone concerts and two back-to-back marathons (6pm-4am) with hugely impressive lineups. A quick glimpse reveals the names Gary Bartz, Darcy James Argue, Chris Lightcap, Matthew Shipp, Tim Berne, Aruán Ortiz, Town Hall headliners Robert Glasper and Jason Moran (plus guests), on and on. By now the vast aesthetic range is a given, but the particulars come as a surprise every year. Forced to choose a definitive set, we'd go with Henry Threadgill in his WJF debut. The great alto saxophonist/flutist/composer leads his Ensemble Double-Up in the premiere of "Old Locks and Irregular Verbs," honoring the late Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris (Jan. 11).

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The 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2013

Categories: Jazz

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There's such diversity of sound, method and intent in this list that it's hard to group it all under "jazz" and still have it make sense. And yet it does, because we say so. What ties these albums together is imagination, individuality, monster musicianship and communication on a high plane.

Needless to say there are many other titles richly deserving of recognition. This is not a fallow period in jazz--the idea is hilarious--and it seems that narrowing the important releases down to 10 only gets harder every year. In some sense the Top-10 list goes against the fluid and improvisatory nature of jazz, which can reveal successive secrets with every listen, years or even decades after the fact. Take this, then, not as some permanent and final verdict. All that said, these albums will seriously wreck you.

See also: The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

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The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Joe Lovano

These are the best jazz shows in NYC in December.

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