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Jose Pacheco

Charlie "Yardbird" Parker - Click Here To Learn More about this true Jazz original!

The Night Charlie Parker Played Tenor at Montmartre Café in Greenwich Village

Like I knew when it was happening
that fifty years after
I could still tell you about it
and you still wouldn't really believe me:
It's one 'clock in the morning
and I wander into Montmartre looking
for Tom and Rod so that we can go over
to the White Horse, play chess and drink 'arf n arf',
the half-stout, half-lager house special they serve
that's ten times stronger than the watered down rotgut
they are serving here in Montmartre
because the place is backed and being run by the local dons
who can't run anything strictly legit,
even when they are trying to cash in
on the bohemian craze
and the success of the coffee houses
like Rienzi's and Pandora's Box
and the jazz places like Vanguard
who every night pack in tourists
coming to look at us locals
dressed like bums with our long hair, jeans and sandals,
our uniforms of art and protest,
nursing the cappuccino or the stein of beer
while we carry on our business
of bull----ing each other up and down
the Kierkegaard, Sartre and Zen Buddhist block,

Rienzi's, Pandora's and the Van are making money
like no one was supposed to,
including Tom's place, which is the Café Figaro,
but the guys running the Montmartre
don't like the locals because they dress "sloppy,"
can nurse a drink all night
and try to smoke joints disguised as cigarettes,
which they call "bombers",
so they stop letting the locals sit at tables,
institute (would you believe) a dress code
and now every night
there are fewer tourists to stare
at the handful of better dressed locals
who have bothered to try to make it past Ruffino
the bouncer maitre d' at the door,
who is also my childhood buddy
and who tells me,
"it's slower than Ernie Lombardi tonight,
but something's happening with the jazz guys
in the front." Tom and Rod wave at me,
bursting with excitement like kids
watching the neighbor's wife undress
with the shade up, and I know
it's not a chess move but something real cool and unusual coming down.
Tom points to the musicians, a jazz quartet
Montmartre hired on the cheap,
and they are moving an extra chair onto the stand
and the tenor sax player is handing
his horn and strap to a fat guy in a rumpled suit
who looks just like and is
Here at Montmartre!
And he is going to blow tenor, not alto.

He warms up for a minute with runs and arpeggios
that any sax player would die for
but as a former tenor man
I can tell his tone
is no threat to Byas or the Hawk
and he will thin the tenor into an alto
with his first blow.
The other musicians wait in reverence,
as if they are standing before St. Peter
waiting to be admitted to heaven,
the leader and the Bird nod at each other
and off they fly into Ornithology,
with the Bird trying to teach everyone
just how high the moon was, is, and will ever be
and how high he is now.
He zigs and zags through ins and outs of chords
in quantum leaps of invention,
he follows a two-note "mop mop"
with a five-hundred-notes-a-minute-
leaving us breathless from listening,
segueing back to the melody
and to the other musicians
who have been happy just to listen,
keep the beat and play the chords

but now with encouraging nods from Bird
they try their own tentative solos
which get more confident as they go along
for now they can tell everybody,
agents, other musicians, their children
and their children's children
fifty years after, just like I'm doing now
that they played with Charlie Parker...

Bird grabs the tenor again
and the room bursts into one great haze
of waitresses pushing drinks,
tourists not knowing just where they're at
or what they're listening to,
management and stoned locals wondering
what's the big deal with this Fatso
and when can we close up,
but Tom and Rod and I and just a few others
inhaling and savoring this hippest
of puffy fat black dying junkie miracles
glowing and blowing at the center of the haze
like Orpheus unbound,
know as we gaze at each other
in the coolest of surmises
that we are living in a moment
like no other in jazz and human history
and which most of you won't believe
even fifty years after:
Charlie Parker playing
a borrowed tenor sax for free
in Montmartre Café in Greenwich Village,
a few weeks before he died.


David Amram and Friends celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the publishing of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road." at The Bowery Poetry Club!

New & Of Note! On September 6, 2007, The Bowery Poetry Club hosted "Diamonds In The Sidewalks" with David Amram and his quartet celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the publishing of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road."

Joining David in this celebration of sounds and sooth was Tim Moran, John Ventimiglia, Adira Amram, Russell Brand, Casey Cyr, Ron Whitehead, Frank Messina, Katinka Klein and Jose Pacheco.

Click Here to view David, the quartet with saxophonist, Eric Lawerence sitting in to swing with author, poet, Jose Pacheco and his tale of "The Night Charlie Parker Played Tenor at Montmartre Café in Greenwich Village."

Insom contributing journalist, Jeremy Hogan was there snapping stills and rolling video. Click Here to view David, the quartet with saxophonist, Eric Lawerence sitting in to swing with author, poet, Jose Pacheco and his tale of "The Night Charlie Parker Played Tenor at Montmartre Café in Greenwich Village."

Joseph Pacheco is a 76 year old Nuyorican, retired NYC school superintendent living on Sanibel Island, Florida. He began writing poetry at 70. He has published two books of poetry: The First of the Nuyoricans / Sailing to Sanibel and Alligator in the Sky.



- News, New & Of Note!  - Click Here for the latest happenings from our friends and family in the Poetry, Music and Art World! -

On a 12 day cross country  trek, 35 students lead by David Amram celebrated the 50th Anniversary of  "On The Road" retracing the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassidy in the SUNY/Pottsdam course created by Dr. Audrey Sprenger "Jack Kerouac Wrote Here, Crisscrossing America Chasing Cool."  - Click Here to read, hear and see their reflects from the Road. -

As The Poets and The Players make their way from The Heartland to The Cities and Beyond they bring back their Sights, Sounds and Stories from The Road. Click Here for their recounts and Learn Why . . . Travel Is Fatal!

Pix, Clips and Page from kindred Keepers of The Flame! Join us in celebrating the LifeArtSpirit of Allen Ginsberg! Click Here to Enter!

Dave Amram Birthday Special! Click Here for VidClips, Pix and Debut Mp3's from  the new CD "The Long Road To Nowheresville!"
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On Sunday, Feburary 20th, Writer, The Gonzo Journalist, Kentuckian and Friend, Hunter S. Thompson headed on from this world to the next. Click Here to read the emotes, reflects, rants and raves coming in to Insomniacathon On-Line!

On Sunday, December 11th 'Ode to the Sidewalks of New York Jazz & Poetry Reading' will happen once again hosted by legendary musician, composer, author David Amram & his Trio at the Bowery Poetry Club. - Click Here For More Info! - ALSO View Pix and Clips from May's Ode Celebration!

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