Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Belated Happy Birthday To Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker, born on August 29, 1920, was the greatest saxophone player of all time.  "Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker," was how Miles Davis summarized the history of jazz.  And he was not far off.  As Gary Giddins wrote in Visions of Jazz, "Parker was the only musician after Armstrong to influence all of jazz and almost every aspect of American music -- its instrumentalists and singers, composers and arrangers."

Here is some remarkable video from 1950 of Charlie Parker playing with Coleman Hawkins, the man who essentially invented the jazz saxophone.  (Hank Jones is on piano, Ray Brown on bass and Buddy Rich on drums.)


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