Charlie Parker
Saxophonist, Composer
Charlie Parker
Charles "Charlie" Parker, Jr., also known as "Yardbird" and "Bird", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Miles Davis once said, "You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.
Biography
Charlie Parker's personal information overview.
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News
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"Charlie Parker Jazz Festival" - Pollstar
Google News - over 5 years
August 28 event at Tompkins Square Park has been canceled due to Hurricane Irene. August 27 event at Marcus Garvey Park is still scheduled to occur. AP Photo TBA means the venue is To Be Announced. Use of information on this website is subject to
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Province to help NewPage suppliers out of the woods - MetroNews Canada
Google News - over 5 years
Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker offered few details Thursday on a plan to help some 400 wood suppliers affected by the imminent closure of NewPage. Premier Darrell Dexter said Wednesday the province would have a plan in place by Sept. 9
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Charlie Parker Jazz Festival Celebrates Legendary Musician Uptown and Downtown - DNAinfo
Google News - over 5 years
HARLEM — The two-day Charlie Parker Jazz Festival will be held in Harlem this weekend, where the legendary saxophonist had his famous jam sessions, and in the East Village, the neighborhood he called home. Now in its 19th consecutive year, the
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Charlie Parker: Merkel and Sarkozy waste even this borrowed time - Citywire.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Three weeks ago the patient was close to cardiac arrest and if we are to see Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy as the physicians tending to a sick Europe they were watching over its demise with bland
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A love letter to Charlie Parker from saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr. - Chicago Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
Most jazz clubs don't last as long — or even half as a long — as the Jazz Showcase has been celebrating the music of Charlie Parker. Hard to believe, but the Showcase recently launched its 56th annual "August is Charlie Parker Month" festivities
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Jazz at the Albright-Knox has a homecoming at new venue - Buffalo News
Google News - over 5 years
In the second-set highlight of “Cherokee,” the Ray Noble number that Charlie Parker employed to usher in the bebop era, the quartet tightened to a crescendo—as Hull hammered four-bar solos in tandem with the band, Gransden flashed two fingers behind
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'Rizzoli & Isles' actor Lee Thompson Young talks season 2, his years on 'The ... - Entertainment Weekly
Google News - over 5 years
They're so talented, and when they start working together and start playing off of each other, it's like watching Charlie Parker and Miles Davis play together.” Monday night marks the start of the show's second season, which the actor says will feature
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Charlie Parker: Memo to ratings agencies; shut up - Citywire.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
The ratings agencies proved themselves in the financial crisis to be utterly inept participants in the market, unable to see the wood for the trees and utterly bamboozled by the duplicitous sophistry of the
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Schuur shows a country side - Sacramento Bee
Google News - over 5 years
Jazz musicians have notoriously looked down their noses at country music as simplistic and sentimental, but even Charlie Parker was attracted to its down-to-earth storytelling. No surprise, then, that another down-to-earth jazz artist
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Charlie Parker: Ignis must change radically, and it knows it - Citywire.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Whichever way you analyse it, one reality overshadows everything at Ignis Asset Management: its performance is nowhere near being good enough. The firm needs radical change if it is to regain credibility as a
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Charlie Parker: Maybe I'm just an investment hypochondriac but... - Citywire.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
I have the touch of the bear about me these days. It's the weight of the journalistic cynicism that is generated by reading too many optimistic sell-side notes I suppose. I have counted in my inbox in recent
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Charlie Parker: Time to load up on cash? - Citywire.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Or to put it another way; enjoy the Federal Reserve's free money then sell in May as the maxim suggests. So far this approach appears to be working, or at least the first half of it does
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A teenage Charlie Parker has a cymbal thrown at him - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
One night in 1937, a teenage musician called Charlie Parker joined a queue of players waiting to jam onstage at Kansas City's Reno Club. It was a special occasion. A star guest in the rhythm section was Jo Jones, drummer for Count Basie's Orchestra,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Charlie Parker
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  • 1955
    Parker died on March 12, 1955, in the suite of his friend and patroness Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter at the Stanhope Hotel in New York City, while watching The Dorsey Brothers' Stage Show on television.
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  • 1953
    Parker himself explained the purpose of the plastic saxophone in a May 9, 1953 broadcast from Birdland and did so again in a subsequent May 1953 broadcast.
    More Details Hide Details Parker is known to have played several saxophones, including the Conn 6M, the Martin Handicraft and Selmer Model 22. He is also known to have performed with a King "Super 20" saxophone. Parker's King Super 20 saxophone was made specially for him in 1947. Parker's addiction to heroin caused him to miss performances and be considered unemployable. He frequently resorted to busking, receiving loans from fellow musicians and admirers, and pawning his saxophones for drug money. Heroin use was rampant in the jazz scene, and users could acquire it with little difficulty. Although he produced many brilliant recordings during this period, Parker's behavior became increasingly erratic. Heroin was difficult to obtain once he moved to California, where the drug was less abundant, so he used alcohol as a substitute. A recording for the Dial label from July 29, 1946, provides evidence of his condition. Before this session, Parker drank a quart of whiskey. According to the liner notes of Charlie Parker on Dial Volume 1, Parker missed most of the first two bars of his first chorus on the track, "Max Making Wax". When he finally did come in, he swayed wildly and once spun all the way around, away from his microphone. On the next tune, "Lover Man", producer Ross Russell physically supported Parker. On "Bebop" (the final track Parker recorded that evening) he begins a solo with a solid first eight bars; on his second eight bars, however, he begins to struggle, and a desperate Howard McGhee, the trumpeter on this session, shouts, "Blow!" at him.
    In 1953, Parker performed at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada, joined by Gillespie, Mingus, Powell and Roach.
    More Details Hide Details Unfortunately, the concert happened at the same time as a televised heavyweight boxing match between Rocky Marciano and Jersey Joe Walcott, so the musical event was poorly attended. Mingus recorded the concert, resulting in the album Jazz at Massey Hall. At this concert, Parker played a plastic Grafton saxophone. At this point in his career he was experimenting with new sounds and materials.
  • 1949
    On November 30, 1949, Norman Granz arranged for Parker to record an album of ballads with a mixed group of jazz and chamber orchestra musicians.
    More Details Hide Details Six master takes from this session comprised the album Charlie Parker with Strings: "Just Friends", "Everything Happens to Me", "April in Paris", "Summertime", "I Didn't Know What Time It Was", and "If I Should Lose You".
  • 1948
    He considered Chan his wife although he never married her, nor did he divorce his previous wife, Doris, whom he had married in 1948.
    More Details Hide Details His marital status complicated the settling of Parker's estate and would ultimately serve to frustrate his wish to be quietly interred in New York City. Parker wished never to return to Kansas City, even in death. He had told Chan that he wanted to be buried in New York, the city he considered his home. Dizzy Gillespie paid for the funeral arrangements and organized a lying-in-state, a Harlem procession officiated by Congressman and Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., as well as a memorial concert. Parker's body was flown back to Missouri, in accordance with his mother's wishes. Parker's widow criticized the dead man's family for giving him a Christian funeral even though they knew he was a confirmed atheist. Parker was buried at Lincoln Cemetery in Missouri, in a hamlet known as Blue Summit, located close to I-435 and East Truman Road.
  • 1945
    On November 26, 1945, Parker led a record date for the Savoy label, marketed as the "greatest Jazz session ever."
    More Details Hide Details Recording as Charlie Parker's Reboppers, Parker enlisted such sidemen as Gillespie and Miles Davis on trumpet, Curly Russell on bass and Roach on drums. The tracks recorded during this session include "Ko-Ko", "Billie's Bounce" and "Now's the Time". Shortly afterward, the Parker/Gillespie band traveled to an unsuccessful engagement at Billy Berg's club in Los Angeles. Most of the group returned to New York, but Parker remained in California, cashing in his return ticket to buy heroin. He experienced great hardship in California, eventually being committed to Camarillo State Mental Hospital for a six-month period. A longstanding desire of Parker's was to perform with a string section. He was a keen student of classical music, and contemporaries reported he was most interested in the music and formal innovations of Igor Stravinsky and longed to engage in a project akin to what later became known as Third Stream, a new kind of music, incorporating both jazz and classical elements as opposed to merely incorporating a string section into performance of jazz standards.
    It was not until 1945, when the recording ban was lifted, that Parker's collaborations with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Bud Powell and others had a substantial effect on the jazz world. (One of their first small-group performances together was rediscovered and issued in 2005: a concert in New York's Town Hall on June 22, 1945.) Bebop soon gained wider appeal among musicians and fans alike.
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  • 1939
    According to an interview Parker gave in the 1950s, one night in 1939 he was playing "Cherokee" in a jam session with guitarist William "Biddy" Fleet when he hit upon a method for developing his solos that enabled one of his main musical innovations.
    More Details Hide Details He realized that the 12 semitones of the chromatic scale can lead melodically to any key, breaking some of the confines of simpler jazz soloing. Early in its development, this new type of jazz was rejected by many of the established, traditional jazz musicians who disdained their younger counterparts. The beboppers responded by calling these traditionalists "moldy figs". However, some musicians, such as Coleman Hawkins and Tatum, were more positive about its development, and participated in jam sessions and recording dates in the new approach with its adherents. Because of the two-year Musicians' Union ban of all commercial recordings from 1942 to 1944, much of bebop's early development was not captured for posterity. As a result, it gained limited radio exposure. Bebop musicians had a difficult time gaining widespread recognition.
    In 1939 Parker moved to New York City, to pursue a career in music.
    More Details Hide Details He held several other jobs as well. He worked for nine dollars a week as a dishwasher at Jimmie's Chicken Shack, where pianist Art Tatum performed. In 1942 Parker left McShann's band and played for one year with Earl Hines, whose band included Dizzy Gillespie, who later played with Parker as a duo. This period is virtually undocumented, due to the strike of 1942–1943 by the American Federation of Musicians, during which time few professional recordings were made. Parker joined a group of young musicians, and played in after-hours clubs in Harlem, such as Clark Monroe's Uptown House and Minton's Playhouse. These young iconoclasts included Gillespie, pianist Thelonious Monk, guitarist Charlie Christian, and drummer Kenny Clarke. The beboppers' attitude was summed up in a famous quotation attributed to Monk by Mary Lou Williams: "We wanted a music that they couldn't play" – "they" referring to white bandleaders who had usurped and profited from swing music. The group played in venues on 52nd Street, including Three Deuces and the Onyx. While in New York City, Parker studied with his music teacher, Maury Deutsch.
  • 1938
    In 1938 Parker joined pianist Jay McShann's territory band.
    More Details Hide Details The band toured nightclubs and other venues of the southwest, as well as Chicago and New York City. Parker made his professional recording debut with McShann's band. As a teenager, Parker developed a morphine addiction while hospitalized after an automobile accident, and subsequently became addicted to heroin. He continued using heroin throughout his life, and it ultimately contributed to his death.
  • 1937
    In 1937, Parker played at a jam session at the Reno Club in Kansas City.
    More Details Hide Details His attempt to improvise failed when he lost track of the chord changes. This prompted Jo Jones, the drummer for Count Basie's Orchestra, to contemptuously throw a cymbal at his feet as a signal to leave the stage. However, rather than discouraging Parker, the incident caused him to vow to practice harder, and turned out to be a seminal moment in the young musician's career when he returned as a new man a year later.
  • 1934
    Charles Parker, Jr. was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, the only child of Adelaide "Addie" (Bailey) and Charles Parker. He attended Lincoln High School in September 1934, but withdrew in December 1935, just before joining the local musicians' union.
    More Details Hide Details Parker began playing the saxophone at age 11, and at age 14 he joined his school's band using a rented school instrument. His father, Charles, was often absent but provided some musical influence; he was a pianist, dancer and singer on the T.O.B.A. circuit. He later became a Pullman waiter or chef on the railways. Parker's mother Addie worked nights at the local Western Union office. His biggest influence at that time was a young trombone player who taught him the basics of improvisation. In the late 1930s Parker began to practice diligently. During this period he mastered improvisation and developed some of the ideas that led to bebop. In an interview with Paul Desmond, he said that he spent three to four years practicing up to 15 hours a day. Bands led by Count Basie and Bennie Moten certainly influenced Parker. He played with local bands in jazz clubs around Kansas City, Missouri, where he perfected his technique, with the assistance of Buster Smith, whose dynamic transitions to double and triple time influenced Parker's developing style.
  • 1920
    Born on August 29, 1920.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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