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Charlie Parker

American jazz musician (1920–1955) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Charles Parker Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), nicknamed "Bird" or "Yardbird", was an American jazz saxophonist, band leader and composer.[1] Parker was a highly influential soloist and leading figure in the development of bebop,[2] a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and advanced harmonies. He was a virtuoso and introduced revolutionary rhythmic and harmonic ideas into jazz, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. Primarily a player of the alto saxophone, Parker's tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber.

Quick facts: Charlie Parker, Background information, Birth...
Charlie Parker
Parker at the Three Deuces jazz club, New York, 1947
Parker at the Three Deuces jazz club, New York, 1947
Background information
Birth nameCharles Parker Jr.
Also known asBird, Yardbird
Born(1920-08-29)August 29, 1920
Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.
DiedMarch 12, 1955(1955-03-12) (aged 34)
New York City, U.S.
  • Musician
  • composer
Instrument(s)Alto and tenor saxophone
Years active1937–1955
United States: Savoy

United Kingdom: Esquire

Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career on the road with Jay McShann.[3] This, and the shortened form "Bird", continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite", "Ornithology", "Bird Gets the Worm", and "Bird of Paradise".

Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual rather than just an entertainer.[4]

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