Slow Listening Saturdays: Jazz giants

Even if you’re not a jazz fan, you know the names of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, two of the great geniuses of mid-century American jazz performance. Since my husband has returned from his long travels, our house resounds again with the sounds of alto and tenor saxophones, so that’s my inspiration for this Slow Listening choice. In this 1951 TV clip, Bird and Dizzy are receiving their Downbeat awards. It’s more than a little disconcerting to hear the white announcer refer to the great Parker as “little buddy,”, but hang in there for the remarkable playing that follows. If you can take one time through to try and listen past the incredible soloing, notice what the drummer and bass player are doing. Look at the physical calm of those guys, from which center they make those blistering sounds. American cities were once full of this kind of intricate, technical, daring, live performance. Take some Slow time with this classic example, and look around your own city to see what there might be to hear. And, as always, share this. Spread the Slow.



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