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The Best of Jazz in Charlie Parker

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To think about Charlie Parker is to be acquainted with the best of jazz music and with him as one of the best saxophonists and composers ever. From African American descent, Charles “Bird” Parker, Jr. was born August 29, 1920 in Kansas City. He has influenced many contemporary musicians and he contributed to improve and renew jazz in such a way that he can be compared to other legendaries, such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

The main influence of Charlie’s professional career was his father; he used to be a dancer, singer and pianist on the T.O.B.A. circuit. Although he did not show sings of musical preference or talent during his childhood, Charlie sang in the church’s choir his family attended.

When he was only eleven years old, he started to play saxophone and at school he joined the band. In 1937, Charlie Parker established contact with pianist Jay McShann, and started to travel around the United States southwest region to perform in venues and nightclubs.

His path towards stardom started in the 1950’s. He was invited by Gillespie, Mingus, Powell and Roach to join them in a performance at Massey Hall in Toronto.

Parker contributed to expand jazz music due to his technique to harmonize melody and rhythm, as well as proposing a new concept of the jazz musician as an intellectual artist, rather than a standard trendy amuser; he experimented with different genres and produced amazing fusions, for example, classical music with jazz.

Being just 34 years old, Charlie Parker died March 12, 1955 and supposedly, his death was due to his constant drug abuse.

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