Beliefnet
The Jazz Theologian

In Bird, Clint Eastwood brought to the screen the life of jazz legend, Charlie "Yardbird" Parker.  The first half-hour of the film felt like a Parker riff as it switched back and forth between different time periods in his life. It's not obscure art house film for a narrow audience though.  Rather, it is a fitting representation of this man's frenzied life, honestly portraying the addictions that destroyed him.  Parker hated what drugs had done to his life but felt entangled by his habit and returned to them for solace during difficult times, such as the death of his daughter.Bird

A side benefit of the film is how Eastwood shows Parker's interaction with other jazz greats. We get to see the paradox between Bird and Dizzy Gillespie as well as little known musician Red Rodney.  A comical moment came when the band traveled to the deep south and to not appear as an integrated band they nicknamed Rodney, Albino Red, to explain his light skin.

In the end, it's a sad movie.  Parker died watching TV.  The coroner said he looked 60 yrs. old.  Little did he know that he was only 34.

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