Charlie "Bird" Parker

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by lousea
Last updated 9 years ago

Arts & Music

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Charlie "Bird" Parker

He developed the form of jazz, ‘Bebop’ which involved improvisation and fast tempos. He composed and played over 100 songs including ‘A Night in Tunisia’ and ‘Ornithology’ the song he was most famous for.

Charles ‘Charlie’ Parker was a well known jazz saxophonist and composer, who played both the alto and tenor saxophone and was an active musician between 1937 and 1955.

Charles 'Charlie' Parker

His nickname was ‘yardbird’ or shortened to just ‘bird’. The song ‘Birdland’ by Weather Report was dedicated to Charlie. Duane Allman came up with a technique on the slide guitar that made a noise that sounded like a bird chirping and he called it his tribute to Charlie Parker.

Charlie was the only child of Charles and Addie Parker. He was born on August 29, 1920 and died on March 12, 1955. He was raised in Kansas City and went to Lincoln High School where he joined a school band playing the baritone saxophone.

He toured and played with bands and musicians who taught and influenced him. Some of these musicians were Count Basie and Bennie Moten. He played in jazz clubs with local bands in Kansas, where he grew up, and this perfected his technique. Later on he played with great musicians such as Miles Davis.


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