Writings about Music
Two of A Kind: Bob Dylan and Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker was dealt a much harsher card than the metamorphosized folk singer – a brutal car accident that killed his best friend, and left him at the tender age of fifteen with a spinal injury that required morphine, which led to heroin; an addiction that others ignorantly believed was the root of his musical genius. Dylan himself suffered a traumatic injury from a motorcycle accident at twenty-five, yet in this instance he took it as a "wake-up call" to adopt a healthier life-style, including, apparently, the cessation of harmful drugs. No doubt, the quality of medical care and advice Dylan received was far superior to that of Parker too.
Both musicians trumpet unchecked fecundity, flying like birds through and above the blowing wind. They introduced instrumental tone and vocal qualities, respectively, together with expressive traits that crossed boundaries for what had previously been considered acceptable, helping to liberate their respective musical genres and related genres, while setting the table for our ability to appreciate the music of different cultures from around the world.
Bob is fortunate to carry a thicker skin, like Spanish leather, while Charlie flooded out his soul to cleanse a world polluted by bigotry and fascism, dissolving himself in the effort.
Both ooze sublime melody-harmony, lyrics an intrinsic and inseparable essence of these elements for Dylan, and Divine expressive and technical nuance floating with and beyond time. Their slashing timbres, phrasing, and fervor eviscerates selfish mediocrity and greed, inspiring our most precious attributes. Their tender tones vividly resurrect those we love the most.
I suppose you might say I’m a fan of their music …
- Michael Robinson, March 2014, Los Angeles
© 2014 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).