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Blues for Bird Paperback – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891661205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891661204
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,801,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must for all Parker fans!" -- Howard Rumsey, the Lighthouse All Stars

"Brings out unsuspected mythic aspects of Parker, and the resonances set up in the poem are many and effective." -- Literary Review of Canada

"Focused, full of life, and incredibly well informed . . . Charlie Parker is so real that we can breathe him in." -- The Blindman's Rainbow

"Martin Gray's cadence is a perfect compliment to the poetry of jazz." -- Stan Levey, jazz drummer

"The nearly 300 page narrative should be dubbed the 'Bird Bible.'" -- allaboutjazz.com

"This is a collection that needs to be read, nay to be sung, by anyone claiming to love poetry." -- Iota Poetry Quarterly

About the Author

Martin Gray is one of the world's foremost scholars of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poetry. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This bird plays a saxophone. He's Charlie "Bird" Parker, virtuoso, pure-souled devotee of his art, incorrigible drunk and wastrel, hero, the stuff human contradictions are made of. Read here about Bird: his sad life of struggle, his incomparable gifts as a performer, his musicianship, his place in a passionate fellowship of black musicians. Gray writes it all down in a sequence of short poems, all cast in the same measure - his version of the classical trimeter. Three beats to the line; but the rhythms weave round the beat like a jazzman's improvisations. Try this: He played all colors too -/ orange yellow green/ all forty shades of blue/ as if he played this for/ every blue there was./ Red may raise the heart/ and green redeem the world/ especially in spring/ but blue expresses soul,/ the hunger each of us/ has for the her or him/ who rests there deep within/ making of each a whole.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By walt mead on December 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
How can you write an epic today when the world is no longer 'story-shaped'? You can go back and translate 'Beowulf', as Seamus Heaney, has done, or you can be like Martin Gray and write an epic life in quantum bursts of three-stress energy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Somebody ought to make a bunch of CDs, with an actor reading these highly accessible poems against a backdrop of Charlie Parker's music. They'd be a wow!
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