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Charlie "Bird" Parker - Yardbird Suite


Remember one night I was jamming in a chili house on Seventh Avenue between 139th and 140th. It was December 1939. Now, I'd been getting bored with the stereotyped changes that were being used all the time at the time, and kept thinking there's bound to be something else. I could hear it sometimes, but I couldn't play it. Well, that night, I was working over Cherokee, and, as I did, I found that by using the higher intervals of a chord as a melody line and backing them with appropriately related changes, I could play the thing I'd been hearing. I came alive. 'With his style of complex harmonic playing, his terrific 8 note beat and expressive phrasing, alto saxophone player Charlie Parker became one of the most influential and most copied instrumentalists of jazz. Lennie Tristano in the 'fifties: 'If Charlie Parker wanted to invoke plagiarism laws, he could sue almost everybody who made a record in the last ten years.'