"I realized by using the high notes of the chords as a melodic line, and by the right harmonic progression, I could play what I heard inside me. That's when I was born." That pretty much sums up how Charlie Parker invented Bebop.
Charlie Parker was born today, nearly a century ago. His music is so timeless, it's hard to believe it was created in the 1940s and 50s, but that's part of his genius. He grew up in Kansas City and was influenced by the jazz scene there. He was just an artist, he practiced, playing up to 15 hours a day to hone his craft. When he moved to New York, his musical career took off. He played with other legends- Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles David, and Buddy Powell and pioneered the the jazz jam that led to Bebop. When you listen to a Classic now, long after it was created, it's hard to fathom that at one time it may have been controversial, but that was the case with Parker. People were angry, he broke all the rules of jazz and musical theory. And for that, Charlie Parker's short life on earth created a long, long legacy.
Enjoy this clip of Charlie Parker playing with Dizzy Gillespie in the fifties.

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