“They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But man, there’s no boundary line to art.”
Those are the words of Charlie Parker, the jazz saxophonist also known as Bird, who was born on Aug. 29, 1920. Parker was arguably the greatest genius of the bebop era and indeed, one of the finest American musicians of the 20th century.
You might be tempted to take his words literally when you hear the seemingly effortless grace and ease of his virtuosic improvisational style. His freewheeling solos made up on the spot are pure freedom, right?
Wrong. Jazz, like all serious art, is slavish in its adherence to boundaries and rules. And therein it achieves the nature of true freedom, in both art and life.