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Charlie Parker

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

Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique and advanced harmonies. Parker was a blazingly fast virtuoso, and he introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. His tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber. Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career. 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.

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Great live performance of Dizzy Gillespie and Bird himself performing live in Chicago. I also played this piece for my college audition to the jazz program and made it! So it's an all-time favorite of mine.

Contributed by Dylan Young

The best of Charlie Parker music. Ornithology is probably my favorite.

Contributed by Sammo Lea

Charlie "Bird" Parker speaks in this video--a stark contrast to his playing. A great interview of this amazing musician being rather modest in an interview about his musical career.

Contributed by Sammo Lea

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