Charlie Haden mentioned Charlie Parker last night and I was reminded of this awesome 1-man-show I saw a few years ago called “Live Bird”. It was at Detour during the first Howl! Festival in the East Village. That was the only year it was a great festival and I think they may have stopped doing it. Anyway, the play was really good and really interesting. He played some songs and really did a good job of showing us a lot about Parker’s life. Too bad it didn't get much of a turnout. He talked about Kansas City before he came to NY and how the musicians used to have early morning jam sessions, called a "spook breakfast" after their gigs. He used to go to Reno's, where Count Bassie's guys used to jam. I remember reading how Coltrane was influenced by Parker. I could see it in this play, which reminded me a lot of stuff I've read about Coltrane.
There was one part where he talked the night club owner into paying him right before the gig, I think $300. Then, at setbreak, a friend needed money, and he ended up saying “I have $300, here you go”. I thought that was wild. There were so many interesting tidbits that let us in on his character. The performer was also a great sax player.
I see he’s still at it, I just found an article from April 2008. I hope I get the chance to see it again sometime.