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The Big Huerta Chases the Bird, Charlie Parker



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Charles Christopher Parker Jr., aka Yardbird, Yard, Bird, Sweet Cheeks (ok, I made that one up), the ultimate hipster that was never cartoonized by the media, in stereotype for the public with beret and horn rims, ala Diz. He was the martyr of the bebop era. He was the prototype “cool” rock star before rock and roll. The poster child for the peeps that thought dying young and leaving a contorted corpse was tre cool. A lot of fools buy into this image. That only the cool rock stars die young mostly by their own skinny ass arm. That is the easy way out….but I’m not here to expound my analytics on y’all or at least not upon that topic. Yardbird had his demons. Yardbird had the talent. Yardbird, along with many other greats (Monk, Mingus, Clarke, Miles, Diz, Powell, Blakey etc..) changed the face of modern music as we know it. Bebop was like the punk revolution. Dig? I reckon I am preaching to the choir and you all have heard this sermon in many different ways. As a treat, this article will be kept short and you can all leave early and watch the football game or text or whatever that you all jones for. But Bird was like the Magic Johnson or LeBron or the white quarterback dude that looks like Oswald….yes, Peyton Manning. He was like that! He saw the entire court or field as he played. Songs opened up in slow motion while Yardbird and his cohorts flew around the melodies and dropped bombs and solos at lightning fast speed. This young man from Kansas City, Missouri, could read music and charts and together with his fellow musicians, put out musical lines and drove songs to new fruitions and new ways of scoring. He interpreted and played and broke down notes in songs like no one before him. Bird soared! And as always, there is a price for flying high. Charles Christopher Parker died at the ghastly lowly age of 34 years young. Sadly, the coroner involved, confused Bird’s body age, of that of a 60 year old. Is this the price of genius? Loneliness? Desperation? Again jazz or bebop isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but I highly recommend Spotifying or whatever you use to at least give him an ear. Charlie Parker’s influence in music will always be felt. I hope he has found the peace that he couldn’t have in his all too brief time on this planet. RIP Yardbird, Bird Lives!

You get three paintings for the price on one article today. The first is one of my earliest “works” titled “Bird y Diz en Mexico”. Why Mexico? Not sure, just wanted to use some ugly colors on the curtains. The next one is my first oil. I was starting a jazz icon series and Charlie Parker was the first one to be painted. Simply titled “Bird” I tried to interpret and flow the brush strokes and blend colors all to a bebop soundtrack in my head. If you look closely, there is a faint rendering of a bird in flight…The third is based on beat writer Jack Kerouac’s ode to Bird, ”Charlie Parker looked like Buddha”, the heavy lidded, all-is-well expression sitting under the Bodhi tree as the river rushes by, in Nirvana with his little saxophone. I have used this painting in meditation so I must have been at peace with things when I painted it It can take me away to a quiet place. If I remember correctly this was done very fast in a couple of sittings. This is how I normally paint. I might have ADD or maybe because this is only a hobby and I can’t dedicate 10 hours a day to this or the real reason may be because I know that time is running out and I need to get as much out there as I can in my limited time left here. I started doing this for myself and I still do. I totally appreciate that some of you out there support me and enjoy my paintings and that I get a smile out of you once in a while. It is truly appreciated. The Big Huerta signs off.

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