Charlie Parker quotes
Birthdate: 29. August 1920
Date of death: 12. March 1955
Charles Parker Jr. , also known as Yardbird and Bird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and the leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique and advanced harmonies. Parker was a blazingly fast virtuoso, and he introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. His tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet, and somber.
Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career on the road with Jay McShann. This, and the shortened form "Bird", continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite", "Ornithology", "Bird Gets the Worm", and "Bird of Paradise". Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual rather than just an entertainer. Wikipedia
Quotes Charlie Parker
„Any musician who says he is playing better either on tea, the needle, or when he is juiced, is a plain, straight liar. When I get too much to drink, I can't even finger well, let alone play decent ideas. … You can miss the most important years of your life, the years of possible creation.“
As quoted in Hear Me Talkin' to Ya: The Story of Jazz As Told by the Men Who Made It (1955) edited by by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff, p. 379
„l'd been getting bored with the stereotyped changes that were being used all the time at the time, and I kept thinking there's bound to be something else. I could hear it sometimes but I couldn't play it. … I found that by using the higher intervals of a chord as a melody line and backing them with appropriately related changes I could play the thing I'd been hearing. I came alive.“
On his personal stylistic breakthrough, quoted in Hear Me Talkin' to Ya (1955) edited by Nat Hentoff and Nat Shapiro, . p 354
„You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.“
As quoted in Acting Is a Job: Real-life Lessons About the Acting Business (2006) by Jason Pugatch, p. 73; this statement has occurred with many different phrasings, including: "Learn the changes, then forget them."
„Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art.“
As quoted in Bird : The Legend Of Charlie Parker (1977) by Robert George Reisner, p. 27