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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major work
I cannot stress enough just how well this book is written. It breathes life into a lost era when early jazz musicians fought nightly battles to blow the other guys off the stage. The prose is exciting and vivid, the narrative progresses at just the right pace and it takes insightful detours into areas entirely relevant to give a flavour of the times.

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Published 12 months ago by Chris W.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stanley Crouch Book
This book has been in the offing for about twenty years but has not been worth the wait. It is laboriously written with far too much space devoted to sketching in the historical background. Chuck Haddix's recent Parker book is vastly superior
Published 15 months ago by philipthepheasant


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stanley Crouch Book, 8 Jan. 2014
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This book has been in the offing for about twenty years but has not been worth the wait. It is laboriously written with far too much space devoted to sketching in the historical background. Chuck Haddix's recent Parker book is vastly superior
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could (and should) have been a lot better., 11 Dec. 2014
Could (and should) have been a lot better. This book is a seemingly well-researched study of a little known period in Parker's development and personal life. However, Crouch is not a good writer. I am not sure if he is trying (poorly) to put the feeling of jazz into his prose or whether he is unable to organise and direct a non-fiction historical work. Timelines confusingly appear and disappear, Crouch states his opinions which he then (directly or indirectly) contradicts in the following paragraphs, sentences are desperately over-stuffed with metaphors and similes, and the whole work is shot-through with clumsy prose.

This is bitterly disappointing because if one looks are the material Crouch has gathered (lots of interviews with band mates or running mates of Parker's during this era) one would expect a work which should be necessary reading for Parker fans. However, due to the poor writing and editing (the editor of this book should be shot!) it will be a book which will never live up to its promise.

However, it still contains enough new insight into Parker to make it worth reading - just be prepared to battle though sludgy prose to get to it!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major work, 2 April 2014
This review is from: Kansas City Lightning (Kindle Edition)
I cannot stress enough just how well this book is written. It breathes life into a lost era when early jazz musicians fought nightly battles to blow the other guys off the stage. The prose is exciting and vivid, the narrative progresses at just the right pace and it takes insightful detours into areas entirely relevant to give a flavour of the times.

To criticise this book for failing to follow the daily whereabouts of Charlie Parker through his early life is to miss the point entirely, almost like criticising Shakespeare for killing off Caesar early in the play. Yes, Parker is not centre stage throughout but this is not that book, look elsewhere for a detailed account of his daily whereabouts. This book far richer for bringing in the important themes and narratives of the day to fix Parker in his times and allow the reader to understand how Parker became great. It also puts paid to many modern ideas of 'inherent' genius. Parker tried and failed early on. He had to practice intelligently and relentlessly to stand out in his craft.

This is great book for anybody looking for an insight into the times and an appreciation of what drove Charlie Parker to become known now as such a great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Kansas City Lightning (Kindle Edition)
Crouch does a nice job in capturing the cultural milieu, while providing great insights into Parker's learning process.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Done it again Stanley, 10 Nov. 2014
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I have just read the first 60 pages and it is superb writing.
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Kansas City Lightning
Kansas City Lightning by Stanley Crouch
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