Thursday, August 29, 8920

Charlie Parker (1920-1955) - Bebop Sax

Charlie Parker (1920-1955)

Koko (c. 1945)

Lady, Be Good (1946, after George Gershwin)

Embraceable You (1947, after George Gershwin)

Klactoveedsedstene (1947)

Crazeology (1947)

Parker's Mood (1948)

Out of Nowhere (1948, with Miles Davis)

Charles Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

Parker is widely considered one of the most influential of jazz musicians, along with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career, and the shortened form "Bird" remained Parker's sobriquet for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of many Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite" and "Ornithology."

Parker played a leading role in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuoso technique, and improvisation based on harmonic structure. Parker's innovative approaches to melody, rhythm, and harmony exercised enormous influence on his contemporaries. Several of Parker's songs have become standards, including "Billie's Bounce," "Anthropology," "Ornithology," and "Confirmation." He introduced harmonic practices from concert music, including a tonal vocabulary employing 9ths, 11ths and 13ths of chords, rapidly implied passing chords, and new variants of altered chords and chord substitutions. His tone was clean and penetrating, but sweet and plaintive on ballads. Although many Parker recordings demonstrate dazzling virtuoso technique and complex melodic lines -- such as "Koko," "Kim," and "Leap Frog" -- he was also one of the great blues players. His themeless blues improvisation "Parker's Mood" represents one of the most deeply affecting recordings in jazz.

At various times, Parker fused jazz with other musical styles, from various types of classical music to Latin, establishing paths followed later by others.

Parker also became an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat generation, personifying the conception of the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, rather than just a popular entertainer.

[8920 Brubeck / 8920 Parker / 8920 High Life]