Celebrating the Triumph of Charlie Parker Essay

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Charles Christopher Parker Jr. was born on August 29, 1920 in Kansas City, Kansas to Charles and Addie Parker. Charlie led a lonely childhood which resulted from his parents separation in 1927 when Charlie was just 7 years old. His father was never around much following the separation. Their house however was just a short walk from Kansas City's entertainment district which attracted Charlie while growing up. This was to be where Charlie would find his place in the world.

While Charlie's mother was working, he would walk around Kansas City listening to jazz behind the clubs. Parker would sit around all night listening to his idol Lester Young perform along with the Count Bassie band. It was here that Charlie was developing his
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To support himself Charlie washed dishes at a local food joint, where he met Buddy Fleet, who was the one who tutored Charlie in playing the saxophone. Charlie would then return to Kansas City due to the death of his father and stayed home for about a half a year while playing in a small band there. Then in late 1939 Charlie joined back up with McShann and moved back to Harlem, where Charlie would meet Dizzie Gillespie. Gillespie would join Charlie and would start to work together and develop a new form of jazz. While Charlie was experimenting with a number of different chords in a jam session he discovered a new approach to improvisation. These new chord progressions and the ever emerging sounds of Harlem, bebop was born.

Parker would eventually need a break from New York City and decided to travel to California where he would travel for a couple years. It was during this trip to the west coast that he would get heavier in to drugs and alcohol, specifically heroin which he used as his inspiration. It was while in Los Angeles performing that Charlie would suffer a nervous breakdown, for which he was confined to a hospital bed. He was released in 1947 and returned to New York, where he formed a quintet with Miles Davis and others. Parker would once again tire of New York City and head to Europe for a couple of years, where he would encounter a lot of devoted fans and he also did numerous recordings.

In Charlie's

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