“Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom,” said Charlie Parker. “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But man, there’s no boundary line to art.”
Nat Hentoff, one of the great chroniclers of American music in the 20th century, was in the right place at the right time—post-World War II New York City—and he met, interviewed, and hung out with everyone from Duke and Louis to Miles, Monk, Coltrane, and of course, the incomparable Charlie Parker.
Behold the power of bop—not to mention the cult of personality. Please enjoy this intimate look at one of the towering music figures in American history, excerpted from the essential volume, Jazz Is, and reprinted here with the author’s permission.