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Charlie Parker

The only child of Charles and Addie Parker, Charlie Parker was one of the most important and influential saxophonists and jazz players of the 1940’s.

When Parker was still a child, his family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where jazz, blues and gospel music were flourishing. His first contact with music came from school, where he played baritone horn with the school’s band. When he was 15, he showed a great interest in music and a love for the alto saxophone. Soon, Parker was playing with local bands until 1935, when he left school to pursue a music career.

From 1935 to 1939, Parker worked in Kansas City with several local jazz and blues bands from which he developed his art. In 1939, Parker visited New York for the first time, and he stayed for nearly a year working as a professional musician and often participating in jam sessions. The New York atmosphere greatly influenced Parker's musical style.

In 1938, Parker joined the band of pianist Jay McShann, with whom he toured around Southwest Chicago and New York. A year later, Parker traveled to Chicago and was a regular performer at a club on 55th street. Parker soon moved to New York. He washed dishes at a local food place where he met guitarist Biddy Fleet, the man who taught him about instrumental harmony. Shortly afterwards, Parker returned to Kansas City to attend his father’s funeral. Once there, he joined Harlan Leonard’s Rockets and stayed for five months. In 1939, Yardbird rejoined McShann and was placed in charge of the reed section. Then, in 1940, Parker made his first recording with the McShann orchestra.

During the four years that Parker stayed with McShann's band, he got the opportunity to perform solo in several of their recordings, such as Hootie Blues, Sepian Bounce, and the 1941 hit Confessing the Blues. In 1942, while on tour with McShann, Parker performed in jam sessions at Monroe’s and Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. There he caught the attention of up-and-coming jazz artists like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Later that year, Parker broke with McShann and joined Earl Hines for eight months.

The year 1945 was extremely important for Parker. During that time he led his own group in New York and also worked with Gillespie in several ensembles. In December, Parker and Gillespie took their music to Hollywood on a six-week nightclub tour. Parker continued to perform in Los Angeles until June 1946, when he suffered a nervous breakdown and was confined at a state hospital. After his release in January 1947, Parker returned to New York and formed a quintet that performed some of his most famous tunes.

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15
Album Review

Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, Max Roach: Hot House: The Complete Jazz at Massey Hall Recordings

Read "Hot House: The Complete Jazz at Massey Hall Recordings" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


This is the stuff of legend, one for the ages. It all started here; the greatest jazz concert of all time. How many times has the Massey Hall Concert (Toronto, 1953) been described that way? For the average All About Jazz reader, Massey Hall happened before he or she was born. Besides, there were other famous jazz concerts such as The Carnival of Swing (Randall's Island, NY, 1938), Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert (that remained unreleased until 1958), Gene ...

8
Album Review

Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker: Live Revisited

Read "Live Revisited" reviewed by Chris May


The first six tracks on this album, which were recorded at New York City's Town Hall on June 22, 1945, are amongst the most exciting in the jazz compendium. Not only because of their intrinsic artistic merit but also because they mark one of the first, if not the first, occasion the vanguard of the bop revolution emerged from the basements of 52nd Street, equipped with a fully formed manifestation of the new music, on to a stage bigger than ...

14
Album Review

Charlie Parker: At Birdland 1950 Revisited

Read "At Birdland 1950 Revisited" reviewed by Chris May


When it comes to live recordings of Charlie Parker, Jazz At Massey Hall, from a concert in Toronto in May 1953, has been widely considered the slam-dunk number one ever since Charles Mingus released it on his Debut label in 1956. Forensicists might favour the 7-CD The Complete Dean Benedetti Recordings Of Charlie Parker (Mosaic, 1990), but for most people, Massey Hall takes pole position. There have, however, been challengers for the top spot. Prominent among them ...

15
Album Review

Various Artists: The Birth of Bop

Read "The Birth of Bop" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


Someone famously called jazz the sound of surprise, but all too often, what is on offer is the dull hum of routine. Or something like that. This historic reissue is, however, anything but routine. This is not the first time that Teddy Reig's Savoy sides have been reissued (was he also the mysterious Buck Ram listed as producing one track?), but Craft Recordings took a lot of trouble to produce this very fine selection. If a listener were, ...

18
History of Jazz

Bebop, Beats, and the Drive of Beat Literature

Read "Bebop, Beats, and the Drive of Beat Literature" reviewed by Arthur R George


"Mulberry-eyed girls in black stockings, Smelling vaguely of mint jelly and last night's bongo drummer... fling their arrow legs / To the heavens / Losing their doubts in the beat" of jny: San Francisco nights, announced poet Bob Kaufman's “Bagel Shop Jazz." (Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness, New Directions Publishing, 1965; Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman, City Lights, 2019) “Angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,.. floating across the tops of ...

26
Building a Jazz Library

Charlie Parker: Remastered Highlights From His Peak Years

Read "Charlie Parker: Remastered Highlights From His Peak Years" reviewed by Chris May


Charlie Parker's recorded legacy has been repackaged, reissued, reshuffled and refried so often that newbies and connoisseurs alike are spoilt for choice. Parker's oeuvre has not been meaningfully remixed, however, due to the technical constraints attached to late 1930s through early 1950s recordings--but much of it has been remastered, sometimes with excellent results. Not one of the remastered collections released since digitization, however, delivers the splendiferous sonics of four Celebrating Bird At 100 discs released by the Swiss-based ezz-thetics label ...

1
Book Review

Guido Michelone: Il Jazz e le idee

Read "Guido Michelone: Il Jazz e le idee" reviewed by Emmanuel Di Tommaso


Il Jazz e le idee Guido Michelone 297 pagine ISBN: 978-88-6231-714-6 Arcana Edizioni 2020 In che modo la musica jazz si relaziona al mondo? Com'è interrelata alle altre musiche ed espressioni artistiche? Che relazioni ha con le idee intese come fenomeni umani? E, più specificamente, che cos'è esattamente un'idea? Ad un primo sguardo, queste potrebbero sembrare domande filosofiche nel senso più astratto del termine. In realtà, ne Il Jazz e le idee, Guido ...

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3

Festival

Spotlight 2023: Charlie Parker - August 19-26, 2023

Spotlight 2023: Charlie Parker - August 19-26, 2023

Source: Macy Layne

The Folly Theater, Paseo Academy of Fine & Performing Arts, 18th & Vine Jazz District and Selected Kansas City jazz clubs and performance venues. Spotlight: Charlie Parker 2023 celebrates the jazz icon’s 103rd birthday with jam sessions and musical tributes, jazz history tours, lectures, exhibitions, panel discussions, workshops and showcase performances. The annual program was developed to honor Parker (also known as “Bird”), his legacy and impact on jazz in Kansas City and worldwide. The event also provides educational opportunities ...

4

Event

Liberation Hall Announces Bossa Nova And Charlie Parker Titles For Record Store Day, Saturday, April 22

Liberation Hall Announces Bossa Nova And Charlie Parker Titles For Record Store Day, Saturday, April 22

Source: Prime Mover Media

CHARLIE PARKER – The Long Lost Bird Live Afro-CuBop Recordings VARIOUS ARTISTS – Bossa Nova at Carnegie Hall Liberation Hall today details a pair of jazz vinyl releases for Record Store Day, the annual retail event which celebrates independent record stores in the U.S. and abroad. Record Store Day is set for Saturday, April 22. Bossa Nova at Carnegie Hall and Charlie Parker’s The Long Lost Bird Live Afro-CuBop Recordings will each arrive on 180-gram vinyl. Both titles will ...

6

Recording

Craft Recording Celebrates the Enduring Legacy of Savoy Records and the Revolutionary Bebop Era with 'The Birth of Bop'

Craft Recording Celebrates the Enduring Legacy of Savoy Records and the Revolutionary Bebop Era with 'The Birth of Bop'

Source: DL Media

Featuring Painstaking Recreations of the Five 10-Inch LP Compilations That Were Originally Released by Savoy in 1952 and 1953, This Collection Includes 30 Newly Remastered Tracks Spanning 1944–1949 Craft Recordings proudly celebrates the legacy of Savoy Records with an all-new collection that chronicles the groundbreaking era of bebop (or bop) music. An essential introduction to this vital period in jazz music, The Birth of Bop: The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection features 30 choice cuts from many of the genre’s pioneers, including Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Milt Jackson, Allen Eager, Fats Navarro and more. Spanning 1944 ...

3

Performance / Tour

World-Renowned SMOKE Jazz Club Announces October Schedule Including Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker Celebration

World-Renowned SMOKE Jazz Club Announces October Schedule Including Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker Celebration

Source: AMT Public Relations

Album Release Concert: Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators (Sep 29-Oct 2) Bird & Diz: Dizzy Gillespie Celebration (Oct 14-16) The Music of Monk: Lovano, Hays, Street, and Foster (Oct 20-23) and more... One of New York City’s premier live music venues, Smoke Jazz Club, presents a stellar line-up of both legendary jazz performers and emerging voices during the month of October. Acclaimed for its essential music programming and inspired setting, Smoke Jazz Club recently reopened to much fanfare after ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Charlie Parker

Jazz Musician of the Day: Charlie Parker

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Charlie Parker's birthday today!

The only child of Charles and Addie Parker, Charlie Parker was one of the most important and influential saxophonists and jazz players of the 1940’s. When Parker was still a child, his family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where jazz, blues and gospel music were flourishing. His first contact with music came from school, where he played baritone horn with the school’s band. When he was 15, he showed a great ...

1

Obituary

Phil Schaap (1951-2021)

Phil Schaap (1951-2021)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Phil Schaap, a jazz know-it-all, nudnik and tireless fact finder who put all of those skills to work to become one of radio's finest and most passionate jazz authorities, detectives and educators, died on September 7. He was 70. [Photo above of Phil Schaap at WKCR in 1991 by John Abbott, courtesy of John Abbott] Phil was best known in the New York City area for his daily weekday Bird Flight shows that came on before you woke up and ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Charlie Parker

Jazz Musician of the Day: Charlie Parker

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Charlie Parker's birthday today!

The only child of Charles and Addie Parker, Charlie Parker was one of the most important and influential saxophonists and jazz players of the 1940’s. When Parker was still a child, his family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where jazz, blues and gospel music were flourishing. His first contact with music came from school, where he played baritone horn with the school’s band. When he was 15, he showed a great ...

TV / Film

Norwegian Charlie Parker Documentary

Norwegian Charlie Parker Documentary

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers


TV / Film

Documentary: Bird in K.C.

Documentary: Bird in K.C.

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Charlie Parker was born in Kansas City, Kan., in 1920. When he was 7, his family moved to Kansas City, Mo. In fifth grade, Parker began playing the saxophone in school after the city put in force a music-education program. As he progressed, his mother bought him an alto saxophone in a pawn shop for $40. At the time, vice thrived in Kansas City. Despite Prohibition, the city's mayor and bosses allowed virtually everything that was illegal elsewhere to be ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Charlie Parker

Jazz Musician of the Day: Charlie Parker

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Charlie Parker's birthday today!

The only child of Charles and Addie Parker, Charlie Parker was one of the most important and influential saxophonists and jazz players of the 1940’s. When Parker was still a child, his family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where jazz, blues and gospel music were flourishing. His first contact with music came from school, where he played baritone horn with the school’s band. When he was 15, he showed a great ...

Buster Smith
saxophone, alto
Lester Young
saxophone
Ben Bishop
guitar, electric
Christopher Burnett
saxophone, alto
Ed Bennett
bass, acoustic
Evan Tate
saxophone, alto
Gabriele D'Angela
guitar, electric
Max Perkoff
trombone
Michael Adkins
saxophone
Donna Lee Sax4
saxophone
Richard Oppenheim
saxophone, alto
Dave Wilson
saxophone
Aaron Bennett
saxophone
Omar Sosa
piano
Jorge Sylvester
saxophone, alto
John Coltrane
saxophone
Chuck Israels
bass, acoustic
Saskia Laroo
trumpet
Brian Lynch
trumpet
Sam Newsome
saxophone, soprano
Glenn Zottola
saxophone, tenor
Rudresh Mahanthappa
saxophone, alto
Grace Kelly
saxophone
Tedd Baker
saxophone, tenor
Patrick Cornelius
saxophone, alto
2azz1 Durst
saxophone
Bruce Harris
trumpet
Todd Mosby
guitar
Greg Chako
guitar
Jarez
saxophone
Rich Willey
trumpet
Dave Mullen
saxophone, tenor
Ben Britton
saxophone
Sharel Cassity
saxophone
Ofer Shapira
saxophone
Brad Felt
euphonium
Jim Butler
saxophone
Ricardo Pinheiro
guitar, electric
Dan Andersen
guitar, electric
Scott Reeves
trombone
Jon Irabagon
saxophone, sopranino
Martin Uherek
saxophone, tenor
Tim Sparks
guitar
Ori Dagan
vocals
Chris Gale
saxophone, tenor
Remi Bolduc
saxophone, alto
Mike Rinta
trombone
Michael Staron
bass, acoustic
Dan Wilensky
saxophone
Dimitris Tsakas
saxophone, alto
Sue Orfield
saxophone, tenor
Seth Okrend
guitar and vocals
Louie Belogenis
saxophone
Perry Thoorsell
bass, acoustic
Don Mopsick
bass, acoustic
Johnny Padilla
saxophone
Dan Miller
trumpet
Don Hanson
saxophone
Carl Clements
saxophone
Matt Olson
saxophone, tenor
Alexander Raichenok
saxophone, alto
Bobby Stern
saxophone, tenor
Tony Song
guitar
Kari Antila
guitar, electric
Jeremy Wilms
composer / conductor
Tom Bekeny
mandolin
John Purcell
saxophone, alto
Jorge Garcia
guitar, electric
Daryl Gott
saxophone, alto
Aldo Salvent
saxophone, tenor
Nat Steele
vibraphone
Andy Brown
guitar
Benjamin Boone
saxophone
Mishko M'ba
bass, electric
Alex Moxon
guitar, electric
Tom Weeks
guitar, electric
Allison Au
saxophone, alto
Ultrafaux
band / ensemble / orchestra
Filippo Bianchini
saxophone, tenor
Robert Dunn
guitar, acoustic
Jason Quick
guitar
Ulli Juenemann
saxophone, alto
Steven Faivus
saxophone, alto
Dan Waldman
guitar
Mick Foster
saxophone
Carl Cornwell
saxophone, tenor
Will Boyd
woodwinds
Harrison Argatoff
saxophone, tenor
Boaz Marva
guitar
Tal Klein
piano
John Quara
guitar
Richie Love
saxophone
Kent Engelhardt
saxophone
Joseph de Dominicis
guitar, acoustic
Bill Hauser
saxophone, tenor
Glen Manby
saxophone, alto
Sam Norris
saxophone
Jazz Interlude
band / ensemble / orchestra
Adam Nolan
saxophone
Mary Amaral
vocals
Sunhyun Yoo
saxophone, alto
Patricia López
saxophone
Paco Reinaldet
saxophone, soprano
Nikos Koulouris
saxophone
Ikechi Onyenaka
saxophone, alto
Josh Andres
multi-instrumentalist
Aaron Johnson
saxophone, alto
Mike Flanagan
saxophone, alto
Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra
band / ensemble / orchestra
Andres Hayes
saxophone, tenor
The Modern Beat Combo
band / ensemble / orchestra
Kansas City Area Youth Jazz
band / ensemble / orchestra
Erkin Kydykbaev
bass, acoustic
Jacob Chung
saxophone, tenor
David Bernot
saxophone, tenor
Funk Elastic
band / ensemble / orchestra
Chris Torkewitz
saxophone, tenor
Pieter Egriega
guitar and vocals
Or Shovaly
guitar
Kai Gluska
guitar
Rob Ames
saxophone, soprano
Steve Britt
saxophone
Zach Rich
trombone
Eli Hershiser
saxophone
Yooyoun Cho
guitar
Affinity Trio
band / ensemble / orchestra
Claudio Cardito Carditology
band / ensemble / orchestra
Alex Madeline
saxophone
Egor Tokarev
saxophone, tenor
FOUR
band / ensemble / orchestra
Orlando Madrid
saxophone, alto
Kasper Rietkerk
saxophone, alto
Ruth Saphir
vocals

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Classic Don Byas...

Mosaic Records
2024

buy

The Birth of Bop

Craft Recordings
2023

buy

The Long Lost Bird...

Liberation Hall
2023

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At Birdland 1950...

Ezz-thetics
2023

buy

Live Revisited

Ezz-thetics
2023

buy

Hot House: The...

Craft Recordings
2023

buy

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