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Book: Kansas City Jazz

Chapter: Bird Takes Flight

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42630


Charlie Parker takes the lessons he learned memorizing Lester Young solos and re- invents jazz, combining the blues of Kansas City and the Southwest with advanced harmonic principles he learns playing with innovators such as Tadd Dameron and William “Biddy” Fleet to write an outline for jazz’s next chapter. Parker’s development into a protean improviser and creator of a new jazz syntax is not a sure thing, as he overcomes personal problems and rough treatment by the elder statesmen of jazz to become one of the greatest innovators in the history of the music.

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