Charlie Parker Research Paper

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Charlie Parker Charles Parker Jr. was an American saxophonist and composer, commonly known as “Yardbird” or “Bird.” According to Wikipedia, Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop. Parker introduced ground-breaking choral ideas including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. His tone ranged from clean and powerful to sweet and somber. Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an adamant artist and intellectual rather than just a performer. Charles Parker, Jr. was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, the only child of Adelaide and Charles Parker. He attended Lincoln High School in September 1934, but withdrew in December 1935, so he could join the local musicians' union. Parker began playing the saxophone at age 11, and at age 14 he joined his school's band. His father, Charles, was often absent but provided some musical influence; he was a pianist, dancer and singer. His biggest influence at that time was a young trombone player who taught him the basics of improvisation. In the late 1930s Parker began to practice diligently up to fifteen hours a day. During this period he…show more content…
His addiction to heroin caused him to miss gigs and resort to receiving loans from fellow musicians and admirers, and pawning his saxophones for drug money. Heroin was difficult to obtain once he moved to California, where the drug was less abundant, so he used alcohol as a substitute. He checked himself into a treatment facility, and got clean. Before leaving California, he recorded "Relaxin' at Camarillo" in reference to his hospital stay. He returned to New York, resumed his addiction to heroin and recorded dozens of sides for the Savoy and Dial labels, which remain some of the high points of his

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