Yardbird image Charlie "Yardbird" Parker
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Charlie "Bird" Parker
Yardbird image About Charlie "Yardbird" Parker
"Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you."

"Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art."

"I kept thinking there's bound to be something else…. I could hear it sometimes, but I couldn't play it."

"Bird's mind and fingers work with incredible speed. He can imply four chord changes in a melodic pattern where another musician would have trouble inserting two."
-- Leonard Feather

"Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker."
Miles Davis summarizing the history of jazz

"The first time I heard Bird play, it hit me right between the eyes."
John Coltrane

"He had just what we needed. He had the line and he had the rhythm. The way he got from one note to the other and the way he played the rhythm fit what we were trying to do perfectly. We heard him and knew the music had to go his way…. He was the other half of my heartbeat."
-- Dizzy Gillespie

"Charlie Parker showed Dizzy a way of playing that almost eliminated that swing feel that Dizzy had in the early '40s, but that also incorporated those harmonic ideas that they both created. So I think the way of getting from one note to the next was very much Charlie Parker's influence on Dizzy. But if Charlie Parker was the stylist, Dizzy was sort of the architect that taught the musicians how to build the music … Dizzy said that Charlie Parker used to come over to his house, and Dizzy's wife Lorraine wouldn't let him in, so Charlie Parker would be in the hallway playing and Dizzy would write it down, and then show it to the other musicians. So Dizzy took the things that Charlie Parker got off the top of his head - Dizzy said he never saw him sit at the piano - and he would show other musicians."
-- Jon Faddis