Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Charlie Parker!

Charlie Parker with a young Miles Davis

Oh man... where would jazz be without Charlie Parker, also known as The Bird?

Charlie Parker, the legendary sax player and band leader, was born on this day in 1920.

The catalyst in the rise of bebop and individual player skills, of seeking improvisation, of learning and exploring new chord changes... of being a band leader and teacher for new players (including Miles Davis)... Bird was all those and more.

He died at the young age of 34 on March 12, 1955 ... his legacy though lives on forever.

His influence had a huge impact on the entire jazz world, and it would not be too far fetched to say that jazz would not have become what it was without Charlie Parker.

On Parker, John Coltrane said when he saw Charlie Parker perform for the first time June 5, 1945:

"the first time I heard Bird play, it hit me right between the eyes."

Hope you're having a good time with all the jazz cats in heaven Charlie.... here's one of Bird's best known songs, "Bird Gets the Worm" from 1947:

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