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May 2024
1min read

Charlie Parker in flight: “I’d been getting bored with the stereotyped changes,” he remembered of the moment when he liked to say the style that became bebop was born, ”… and I kept thinking there’s bound to be something else. I could hear it sometimes, but I couldn’t play it. [Then] I was working over ‘Cherokee,’ and … I found that by using higher intervals of a chord as a melody line and backing them with appropriately related changes, I could play the thing I had been hearing.” The things Parker heard and played would make him the most revolutionary musician since Armstrong, and, like Armstrong, he influenced how every instrument, not just his own, was played. But even his music was an extension of the work of earlier innovators and rooted in the blues tradition.

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