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Born in 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri, Parker began playing the alto saxophone in his teens. When he was 17, he attended one of Kansas City's notoriously tough and competitive jam sessions, during which he lost track of the chord changes in the tune he was playing. Drummer Jo Jones, who was with Music/CountBasie's band and a seasoned pro, signified to Parker that he should get off the stand by throwing a cymbal at Parker's feet; this incident has become enshrined as part of Parker's legend, because the humiliated Parker went away and committed himself to a [[TrainingFromHell ruthless practising schedule]] in which he [[CrazyPrepared made sure to learn how to play every tune he knew in every key possible]]. A year later (or so the legend goes), Parker returned to the same session and, this time, [[LookWhatICanDoNow nobody threw a cymbal at his feet]].[[note]]This incident has been [[MemeticMutation mutated in jazz mythology]] to the point that in many versions of the story, Jones threw the cymbal directly at Parker, but anyone who was there on the night agrees that Jones didn't throw the cymbal at Parker, but at the floor, in a gesture intended to be deliberately humiliating but not violent. Nevertheless, in the 2014 movie ''Film/{{Whiplash}}'', the teacher throws a cymbal directly at his pupil in a gesture intended to evoke the Parker incident.[[/note]]

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Born in 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri, Parker began playing the alto saxophone in his teens. When he was 17, he attended one of Kansas City's notoriously tough and competitive jam sessions, during which he lost track of the chord changes in the tune he was playing. Drummer Jo Jones, who was with Music/CountBasie's band and a seasoned pro, signified to Parker drummer who was playing in Count Basie's band, became so disgusted that he should get off the stand by throwing threw a cymbal at Parker's feet; this feet to run him off the stage. This incident has become enshrined as part of Parker's legend, because the humiliated Parker went away and committed himself to a [[TrainingFromHell ruthless practising schedule]] in which he [[CrazyPrepared made sure to learn how taught himself to play every tune he knew in every key possible]]. A year later (or so the legend goes), Parker returned to the same session and, this time, [[LookWhatICanDoNow nobody threw a cymbal at his feet]].[[note]]This incident has been [[MemeticMutation mutated in jazz mythology]] to the point that in many versions of the story, Jones threw the cymbal directly at Parker, but anyone who was there on the night agrees that Jones didn't throw the cymbal at Parker, but at the floor, in a gesture intended to be deliberately humiliating but not violent. Nevertheless, in the 2014 movie ''Film/{{Whiplash}}'', the teacher throws a cymbal directly at his pupil in a gesture intended to evoke the Parker incident.[[/note]]

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* Parker is mentioned in ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', when Crichton lists Charlie Parker albums among his possessions back home on earth that he misses on Moya.
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S09E01TheProjectedMan The Projected Man]]'' features a riff identifying the shadow of some laboratory equipment resembling someone playing a saxophone as belonging to Parker.


* In a 2017 episode of ''Series/{{Chopped}}'', guest judge Alton Brown re-created the cymbal-throwing incident by tossing the serving dish cover at the feet of the chef who had been cut in the final round.


* In a 2017 episode of the ''[[Series/{{Chopped}}]]'', guest judge Alton Brown re-created the cymbal-throwing incident by tossing the serving dish cover at the feet of the chef who had been cut in the final round.

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* In a 2017 episode of the ''[[Series/{{Chopped}}]]'', ''Series/{{Chopped}}'', guest judge Alton Brown re-created the cymbal-throwing incident by tossing the serving dish cover at the feet of the chef who had been cut in the final round.

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* In a 2017 episode of the ''[[Series/{{Chopped}}]]'', guest judge Alton Brown re-created the cymbal-throwing incident by tossing the serving dish cover at the feet of the chef who had been cut in the final round.

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* TheAce: He became this through hours of practice. Friends remembered him not only as a towering musician but as a really smart guy and a voracious reader who loved talking about intellectual topics.


* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: As mentioned, the Bird used a lot of drugs. He actually didn't [[ArtisticStimulation use them for inspiration]]; he got addicted, as so many did, after being given opiates as painkillers following a car accident. Unfortunately, the level of hero worship from other musicians was such that they would imitate every aspect of his life, including the drug use; this pained him very much and he urged younger musicians not to use drugs. [[DoNotDoThisCoolThing It didn't work]]; even Creator/EricClapton took up heroin partly in imitation of Parker.

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* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: As mentioned, the Bird used a lot of drugs. He actually didn't [[ArtisticStimulation use them for inspiration]]; he got addicted, as so many did, after being given opiates as painkillers following a car accident. Unfortunately, the level of hero worship from other musicians was such that they would imitate every aspect of his life, including the drug use; this pained him very much and he urged younger musicians not to use drugs. [[DoNotDoThisCoolThing It didn't work]]; even Creator/EricClapton Music/EricClapton took up heroin partly in imitation of Parker.


* WhamEpisode: 1945's "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko-Ko Ko-Ko]]". Recorded just after a long musician's union recording strike with fellow jazz giants Music/DizzyGillespie and Music/MaxRoach, this piece was the first time Bird's experiments with extended harmony were shared with the general public. Jazz would never be the same.

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* WhamEpisode: 1945's "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko-Ko Ko-Ko]]". Recorded with fellow jazz giants Music/DizzyGillespie and Music/MaxRoach just after a long musician's union recording strike with fellow jazz giants Music/DizzyGillespie and Music/MaxRoach, strike, this piece was the first time Bird's experiments with extended harmony were shared with the general public. Jazz would never be the same.

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* The children's picture book ''Charlie Parker Played [=BeBop=]'' about him was featured in installments of both ''Series/ReadingRainbow'' and ''Series/BetweenTheLions''.


* WhamLine: 1945's "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko-Ko Ko-Ko]]". Recorded just after a long musician's union recording strike with fellow jazz giants Music/DizzyGillespie and Music/MaxRoach, this piece was the first time Bird's experiments with extended harmony were shared with the general public. Jazz would never be the same.

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* WhamLine: WhamEpisode: 1945's "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko-Ko Ko-Ko]]". Recorded just after a long musician's union recording strike with fellow jazz giants Music/DizzyGillespie and Music/MaxRoach, this piece was the first time Bird's experiments with extended harmony were shared with the general public. Jazz would never be the same.


* WhamLine: 1945's "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko-Ko Ko-Ko]]". Recorded just after a long musician's union recording strike with fellow jazz giants Creator/DizzyGillespie and Creator/MaxRoach, this piece was the first time Bird's experiments with extended harmony were shared with the general public. Jazz would never be the same.

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* WhamLine: 1945's "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko-Ko Ko-Ko]]". Recorded just after a long musician's union recording strike with fellow jazz giants Creator/DizzyGillespie Music/DizzyGillespie and Creator/MaxRoach, Music/MaxRoach, this piece was the first time Bird's experiments with extended harmony were shared with the general public. Jazz would never be the same.


Parker was a friend and mentor to many younger musicians, the most notable of which was Music/MilesDavis, whose tune "Donna Lee" was first recorded by Parker. Parker himself composed several bebop tunes, nearly all of which have become standards in the jazz repertoire: "Ah-Leu-Cha", "Anthropology", "Confirmation", "Now's the Time", "Scrapple from the Apple", "Relaxin' at Camarillo", and many others.

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Parker was a friend and mentor to many younger musicians, the most notable of which was Music/MilesDavis, whose tune "Donna Lee" was first recorded by Parker. Parker himself composed several bebop tunes, nearly all of which have become standards in the jazz repertoire: "Ah-Leu-Cha", "Anthropology", "Confirmation", "Ko-Ko", "Now's the Time", "Scrapple from the Apple", "Relaxin' at Camarillo", and many others.


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* WhamLine: 1945's "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko-Ko Ko-Ko]]". Recorded just after a long musician's union recording strike with fellow jazz giants Creator/DizzyGillespie and Creator/MaxRoach, this piece was the first time Bird's experiments with extended harmony were shared with the general public. Jazz would never be the same.


Charlie Parker, Jr (1920-1955) was an American saxophonist and composer, renowned for his instrumental virtuosity, harmonically complex and lightning-fast improvisation and his intellectual approach to his music. Nicknamed [[FanNickname Bird (or Yardbird)]], Parker was one of the most influential artists in the [[TheForties 1940s]] jazz scene. By extension, he was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, as he was one of the major forces behind Bebop, and therefore all subsequent {{Jazz}}.

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Charlie Charles Parker, Jr (1920-1955) (August 29, 1920 March 12, 1955) was an American saxophonist and composer, renowned for his instrumental virtuosity, harmonically complex and lightning-fast improvisation and his intellectual approach to his music. Nicknamed [[FanNickname Bird (or Yardbird)]], Parker was one of the most influential artists in the [[TheForties 1940s]] jazz scene. By extension, he was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, as he was one of the major forces behind Bebop, and therefore all subsequent {{Jazz}}.

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* PatronSaint: The [[Music/JohnColtrane Saint John Will-I-Am Coltrane African Orthodox Church]] in San Francisco was originally named The Yardbird Temple in Parker's honor.

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