Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker

Article excerpt

Chuck Haddix's new book on Charlie Parker is a true portrait of the troubled jazz genius. Saxophone virtuoso Charlie "Bird" Parker began playing professionally in his early teens, became a heroin addict at 16, changed the course of music, and then died when only 34 years old. His friend Robert Reisner observed, "Parker, in the brief span of his life, crowded more living into it than any other human being." Like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, he was a transitional composer and improviser who ushered in a new era of jazz by pioneering bebop and influenced subsequent generations of musicians.

"Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker" artfully weaves together firsthand accounts from those who knew him with new information about his life and career to create a compelling narrative portrait of a tragic genius.

While other books about Parker have focused primarily on his music and recordings, this portrait reveals the troubled man behind the music, illustrating how his addictions and struggles with mental health affected his life and career. …

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