Charlie Parker, 100 today

Charlie Parker, 100 today


norman lebrecht

August 29, 2020

The man who defined jazz sax was born on August 29, 1920.

He died, aged 34, in March 1955, with what the coroner said was the body of a 60 year-old.



  • nimitta says:

    Bird Lives!

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    Charlie Parker had expressed the desire to study composition with Edgar Varese. Shortly before he died, he had planned on becoming a full-time composer. Given his genius, God knows the results this could have produced.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Happy Birthday, Bird, wherever you are….

  • Larry says:

    I’m 99% sure that this is the only footage of Bird playing “live” with audio. There are several film clips of him but with no audio track. There’s also a TV clip (with Buddy Rich, Ray Brown) but it sure looks like they’re all “miming” playing their instruments with a pre-recorded soundtrack.

  • Dave says:

    A 60 year old body in a 34 year old man. That’s what heroin will do to you.

  • Frank says:

    Why in a classical music site is there a note about a negro jazzist? Dear Norman, why you play the bs of pc?

    • Rudolf says:

      Great music is beyond race (shame on you) and beyond category (classical, jazz): music is music and genius is genius.

    • Nelson says:

      Umm….so if it had been a white Jazz musician who was one of the great artists of the 20th century, THAT would NOT be a pandering “PC” post? And btw, Norman has posted about a number of Covid-19 victims in the Jazz community. Would you also prefer to keep those limited to Caucasians? Strange world you live in, Frank.

  • Akinlanju Ologun says: