$95.00 – $495.00
Charlie Parker Caricature, age 27, shown here at the Three Deuces, New York, NY, August 1947 along with Tommy Potter (bass) and Max Roach (drums).
Charles Parker Jr. was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a 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.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Parker spent three to four years practicing up to 15 hours a day. In the fall of 1936, on his way to a gig, Parker had a car accident and broke three ribs and fractured his spine. The accident led to Parker’s ultimate troubles with pain killers and opioids, especially heroin. Parker struggled with drug use for the rest of his life.
In 1942, he played for one year with Earl Hines, whose band included Dizzy Gillespie, who later played with Parker as a duo. Parker joined a group of young musicians, and played in after-hours clubs in Harlem, such as Clark Monroe’s Uptown House. These young iconoclasts included Gillespie, pianist Thelonious Monk, guitarist Charlie Christian, and drummer Kenny Clarke.
One night in 1939 he was playing “Cherokee” in a jam session with guitarist William “Biddy” Fleet when he hit upon a method for developing his solos that enabled one of his main musical innovations. He realized that the 12 semitones of the chromatic scale can lead melodically to any key, breaking some of the confines of simpler jazz soloing.
On November 26, 1945, Parker led a record date for the Savoy label, marketed as the “greatest Jazz session ever.” Recording as Charlie Parker’s Reboppers, Parker enlisted such sidemen as Gillespie and Miles Davis on trumpet, Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach on drums. The tracks recorded during this session include “Ko-Ko”, “Billie’s Bounce” and “Now’s the Time”.
In 1952 Parker and Gillespie released an album entitled “Bird and Diz”.
Parker’s life was riddled with depression and heroin addiction. Parker’s life took a turn for the worse in March of 1954 when his 3-year-old daughter Pree died. He attempted suicide twice in 1954, which landed him in a mental hospital.
Parker died on March 12, 1955, in a suite at the Stanhope Hotel in New York City, while watching The Dorsey Brothers’ Stage Show on television. The official causes of death were lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer, but Parker also had an advanced case of cirrhosis and had suffered a heart attack. The coroner who performed his autopsy mistakenly estimated Parker’s 34-year-old body to be between 50 and 60 years of age.
Dizzy Gillespie paid for the funeral arrangements.
Parker’s style of composition involved interpolation of original melodies over existing jazz forms and standards, a practice known as contrafact and still common in jazz today.
Miles Davis once said, “You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker”.
All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.
Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.
32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).
|Dimensions||16 × 20 × .25 in|
32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185