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"Bird Lives"...sort of !
Mr.Eastwood who directed "Bird" is a devoted jazz fan using jazz in the soundtrack of several of his earlier films. He has had a long collaboration with ex-Kentonite Lennie Niehaus in the musical scoring of several of his projects."The Gauntlet" for example featured alto saxophonist Art Pepper and other prominent West Coast jazzmen throughout.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This hommage to Charlie "Bird" Parker acknowledged to be a giant figure in 20th. century contemporary music, is a dark film literally as their often appears to be minimal lighting adding to the somber mood of the story line. Forest Whitaker is convincing in his portrayal but, the criticism by those who actually knew Parker personally was that he was portrayed solely as a tragic one dimensional figure leaving us with an incomplete study of this complex, articulate, highly intelligent, towering musical genius who changed improvised music (jazz if you must) forever much as did Louis Armstrong and Lester Young before him. Dizzy Gillespie collaborated with Parker surely but "Bird" codified the language. Those of us familiar with the life of Charles Christopher Parker would have wished for a more factual story line but, Mr.Eastwood is to be commended for dealing with the subject knowing it would have a limited commercial audience and was free to take artistic license. Perhaps it will make some viewers curious to discover the "real" Bird (Parker's actual solos were incorporated in the soundtrack) through his recordings which in the end is what it's all really about. Indeed, "Bird Lives".