"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
"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
-- 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