Oct 25, 2015

A Short Charlie Parker Story

Back in the 1970s, I was a music major at Portland State University in Oregon. This was before the internet, so we had to do our research in the libraries. One day I was in the Portland city library checking out back issues of Downbeat, looking for solo transcriptions. There was another college kid also studying in the music section, and we struck up a conversation. He told me this story.

The kid's father (let's call him Bill) was a trombonist in the early 1950s, in New York City. One evening he decided to go to a jam session at a club. When he got there, he saw that there were some real heavies on stage, including Charlie Parker. Bill was kind of intimidated, so he took his trombone out into the hallway and jammed along quietly, horn pointed at the wall. Then someone grabbed him by the collar, and marched him up onto the stage. When he turned around to see who had grabbed him, Bill saw that it was Charlie Parker.

No comments: