Thursday, June 5, 2014
Charlie Parker Apex of Bebop Volume 2 Sarabandas 1986
I've got way too many Charlie Parker compilation LPs. Most of them are budget comps, at the time of thier original purchase, these were likely several dollars cheaper than reissues of Bird & Diz or April in Paris that surrounded it. I find these LPs almost every summer at garage sales in the greater Kansas City metro area.
While I can't brag or say I'm proud about my Charlie Parker compilation collection, I would say finding this type of album is one of my favorite parts of Parker's legacy in Kansas City. I like the fact that years ago, when everybody had a stereo system in their living with at least a modest collection of LPs, the people of Kansas City, Overland Park, Shawnee, Lees Summit, etc, felt the need to have a Charlie Parker album.
I enjoy the idea that something they read or heard about Charlie Parker struck them or gave them some sense of pride. They realized that this guy from Kansas City reinvented jazz and it made them think, "I should own some of his music." So, they went to the record store, Montgomery Ward or Sears and found themselves in the Jazz section sifting through Charlie Parker albums. Not having a clue about jazz or bebop, they opted for a safe purchase, a cheap, likely marked down compilation of his claimed best works.
When they got the LP home, they likely spun it and hoped to understand it. I'm a sure a few did. However, as evidenced by the amount of these of these compilations found all by their lonesome sitting next to a collection of easy listening and pop albums, most people didn't. Still, they kept it. They thought enough of Charlie Parker and their city to hold onto it...at least until they sold all their albums at a yard sale.