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Track 1 TuningTones

Billie's Bounce
rack2 Track 3 Fast tempo with saxophone Fast tempo backingtrack Slow tempo with saxophone Slow tempo backingtrack Fast tempo with saxophone Fast tempo backingtrack Slow tempo with saxophone Slow tempo backingtrack Fast tempo with saxophone Fast tempo backingtrack Slow tempo with saxophone Slow tempo backingtrack Fast tempo with saxophone Fast tempo backingtrack Slow tempo with saxophone Slow tempo backingtrack Fast tempo with saxophone Fast tempo backingtrack Slow tempo with saxophone Slow tempo backingtrack Fast tempo with saxophone Fast tempo backingtrack Slow tempo with saxophone Slow tempo backingtrack

N o t eo s nt h eS o l o A n a l y s i s , , , ,I,

Track 4 Track 5 Track 6 Track7 Track I Track 9 Track 10


Yardbird Suite


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Track 11 Track 12 Track 13


ardbird Suite, r r r r r ! r, r r r r r . 22 llowts The Time


Track 14 Track 15 Track 16 Track 17


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Donna Lee
Track 18 Track 19 Track 20 Track 21

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Track22 Track 23 Track24 Track 25



ake a few narcotics,add in a pinch of alcohol,stir in some
cultural tension fuelled by a new and dangerous musicl now add prohibition, a tragically shortened life and a musical gift as prodigious as it was revolutionary. Now you have the basic ingredients for the life srory of one of the greatest and most influential jazz musicians ever - charlie 'Bird' parker. He was born in Kansas ciry on 29th August r920,the only son of charles and Addie Parker. He started learning the baritone sax but found his rue instrument when his mother gave him an alto sax. Such was his infatuation with the instrumenr that at the age of 14 he dropped out of school completely to dedicate himself to it. He got the nickname 'yardbird' from his love of chicken. This inelegant sobriquet was subsequentlyshortenedto the altogether more appealing'Bird', and it stuck.

Kansas) and if you couldn'tcut it, you wereout! on parker'sfirst time out, at the High Hat club, he dried up half way through a solo on Body And soul and didn't touch the instrumentfor

anything but successful,however. Kansas City musicians were very competitive (Herschel Evans and Ben ebster both came from

His first forays into the world of the professio nal jazz musician were

three months afterwards. A potentially more damaging later outing culminated in drummer Jo Jones throwing a cymbal at Parker as a subtle way of telling him to get off the stage! Rather than discouraging him this experience seemed to stiffen Bird,s resolve, as he simply practised more diligently and for longer hours than he had before.

study harmony with pianist carrie powell, a move that laid the first brick in the impressive wall of his mastery of jazz improvisation.

He started to getregularwork, first with Tommy Douglas(1936-7) and then with Bustersmith (1937-8).At this time he startedto

In 1938 he joined the band o JayMcShann, and startedto make a name for himself as a hard-swingingtaker-of-libertieswith iazz harmony. ln 7939 he made his first visit to New York, where he was greatlyinfluencedby the musicalstyle of the Big Apple. It was during his time with McShannthat he made his first recordings(in 1941,). These early r e c o r d i n g s( i n c l u d i n g S e p i a n B o u n c e , Jumpin' Blues and Lonely Boy Blues) brought him to the attentionof a wrderiazz public, and his reputationas a harmonic innovator beganto spread.

Charlie Parkq

During the Second world var he hookedup with Earl Hines (1942-3) and Billy Eckstine(1944) where he met Dzzy Gillespie, a prodigious young trumpeterwith a cutting soundand an attitude to match.
rn 1,942 Bird moved to New York where, with a vafiety of musicians including Dzzy and drummers Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, and with Thelonious Monk on piano, he helped pioneer bebop. By 1945 bebop had caught the narion's attention from its New York spiritual home, and Parker was by this time leading his own outfit. A 'sest Coast residency at Billy Berg's helped widen the appeal of his music. In 1.946he played at the LA Philharmonic, and in rhe same year he cut a number of landmark recordings for the Dial record label. During all this time Parker had been living up ro his 'rabble rouser' image, with a growing record of narcotic and alcohol abuse, which culminated in the famous 'Loverman session' incident in 1,946 when, after a recording session he was so desperate that he set light to his hotel room. A spell in the psychiatric wing of the LA county jail was the consequence of that affan, followed by six months rehab, which Bird ironically celebrated in the recording RELAXIN' AT CAMARILLO in 1947. \$7henhe returned to normal life he immediately set to work recording for Dial, this time with Erroll Garner. The appeal of New York proved irresistible and in t947 he returned to form a band with the hot young trumpet sensation Miles Davis and drummer Max Roach. It was with this band that Parker arguably hit his peak.

1949 saw Parker touring a foreign country for the first time when he playedthe Paris festival,following that with a trip to Scandinavia in 1950. In the same year, and in an attempt to reach a wider audience,he releasedan album of music with string orchestra,and the success o

.a .a something this sanitised,unashamedlypopulist style of music

iS VOUf OWn The definitive Parkerrecordings weremadefor two labels during the mid to late 40s: on Savoybetween 1945-8he

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Hislastpublic appearance wasin 1955 at Birdland, theclub

namedafter him, but it was not an auspicious finale. He rowed publicly with pianist Bud Powell, who srormed of stage, q u i . k l y ' f o l l o * . d b y b a s s i s tC h a r l i e M i n g u s . D e p r e s s e d , disillusioned,his body wasted by disease and yearsof abuse,Bird
sought solace with the great patron and friend of bebop, Baronessde Koenigswater. Eight days after that fateful gig he was found dead in her hotel suite.

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Charlie Parker

Musical Style
Parker's interests and influences \Mereas diverse and far-reaching as one could imagine - from the classical sophistication of Hindemith and Stravinsky to the primitive directnessof the Kansas City blues tradition, which Parker was immersed in from his upbringing and early professional e m ploy m ent w i th th e J a y M c S h a n n O rc h e stra, of w hi ch he w as a conscientiouslead alto player.

man, he lived throughthe As an intelligentand deeplysensitive


fromioy andlove, wholepanorama of human emotions

through to tragedyand despair- and it's all herein his playing.
His conception of sound was based on that of the altoist Buster Smith, and the leading tenor saxophone player of the 'Pres' Young, whose comparatively vibrato-less day Lester sound was adopted by Bird on the alto saxophone. Parker saysof 'Pres', 'I was cazy about Lester,he played so clean and beautifullv'.

BifdrS mind

and fingefS WO

He canimp with incredible speed. would ha whereanothermusician

four chord changes in a melodic patl

Although Parker completely overhauled Lester's harmonic and rhythmic concepts, he had indeed transcribed and memorised much of the tenor star's recorded output with the Count Basie Band, and as the formative bebop drummer Kenny Clarke relates: ''W'ewent to listen to Bird 'Pres', until at Monroe's, for no other reason except that he sounded like we found out that he had something of his own to,something new'.

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Leonard Feather.

That 'something new' was a melodic appreciation of the upper extensions of conventional chord progressionsand cadenceswhich Bird had been practising at jam sessions with the guitarist Biddy Fleet. As Parker himself 'Well explains: that night I was working over Cherokee, and as I did I found that by using the higher intervals of the chord as a melody line, and backing them with appropriately related changes,I could play the thing I'd been heari.rg- I came alive.' This explanation from the saxophonist is both clear and informative, but it fails t o do justi c e to th e d e p th o f h i s i n n ovati on, w hi ch i ncl uded chromaticisation of melody and harmonic introduction of passing chords, chord substitution, displacement of the harmonic metre and, on occasion, extensive reharmonisation. W'hen you combine this with an awe-inspiring rhythmic approach, containing complete freedom of accentuation and articulation, you have the musical personalirywho went on to revolutionise concepts of small group playing on every instrument. \hile not wishing to devalue Parker's greatnessor individual achievement, he was part of an extraordinarily fertile musical environment amongst an expanding circle of young musicians, whose daring and musical exploration were leading them down similar roads of enquiry. The nightly fam sessionsat Minton's Playhouse in New York provided the focal point for this group, which included Thelonious Monk, Charlie Christian, Dizzy Gillespie and Kenny Clarke amongst others. It was at such venues that the small group, consisting of two or three frontline and rhythm section, began to asset its ascendancyover the larger ensemblesof the swing era as the preferred working environment for the serious improviser.

Charlie Parker

Here is a gude to suggested iistening far each of the pieces ln this book:
Billie's un' - 26/11/45, New York City * The Charlie DarkerRe-boppers - The Complete Savoy Sessions *th Miles Davis (tpt), $adik Hakm (pno), Gurly Russell (bass), Max Roach {drums) Savoy/Arista 5850-1 OmithologY' * 24/1U49 * Camegie Hall, New York City - with Hed iodney {tpt), Al Haig (pno), Tommy Potter bass), Roy Haynes (drums),S.C.A.M.JPG ,,r*i!.,,1i,: - witfi Miles Davis (tpt), ardbird Suite' - 2813/46 l-ucky'Thompson (tenor sax), Arv Ganison {gtr), Dodo r'farmorosa {pno},Viv McMillan (bass),Roy Porter .ms) - released on 'Bird Symbols' - Atlantic Music l"crPoration 407 ,,,, , ow's the me' *24112149 -Cariiie Hatl, New York Cty wth Red Rodney {tpt}, Al Haig {pno), Tommy Uter {bass},Roy Haynes {drums) S.C.A.M.JPG tonna Lee' * 8/5i47 * The C*ertie FarRerAll Stars - The - nplete Savoy Seseions - with Miles Davis {tpt}, Bud , rtrell (pno),Tommy Potter (bass), Max Roach (drums) :"roy/Arista3420-2 , r-{+rropologi;S/sf+9 * Radio Broadcast, Royat Roost tr - ^t Club, New York Ctty * with Charlie Parker, Kenny l.: -*arn {tpt},Al Haig (pno},'Lucky'Thompson(tenor :,,: . Milt Jackson (vibraphone),Tommy Potter (bass), t',- , Roach (drums)
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Bird's style is the culmination of the musical developments of the experiments of the early 1,940s,taking in the harmonic knowledge of the great pianist Art Tatum and giants of the saxophone such as Don Byas and Coleman Hawkins, all delivered with incredible virtuosity and the raw passion of the blues. '!' I Performance Notes rv'L\'\' Billie's Bounce This is one of two blues compositions in this selection and is an ideal starting point for any saxophone player who wants to get to grips with Parker's sryle. This is a comparatively short solo (seeif you can memorise it) and shows how Bird was able to tailor his playing to the demands of any situation. Ornithology The theme of Omithology was originally a phrase Parker improvised on Jay McShann's The Jumping Blues, which Benny Harris crafted over the chord progression of the standard How High The Moon, a common variant of the 32-bar song format ABAC (4 x 8-bar phrases). This 'Carnegie Hall' performance bears all of Parker's trademarks - for example, fantastic singing sound, time feeling, varied articulation and an indefiable senseof structure allied to form. Yardbird Suite 'Yardbird' was one of Charlie Parker's nicknames, derived from his liking for fried chicken. This composition, with its rigorous functional harmony and modulation to the key of III minor in the bridge, records the saxophonist's agility and succinctness of phrasing over chord changesand his understanding and mastery of the 32-bar song form. Now's The Time Jay McShann (one of Parker's first musical employers) considered his protg to be the greatest of blues players, and while such comparative terms are ultimately meaninglessin any discussionof the human spirit, we can perhaps forgive McShann for getting carried away in this case. This performance of the blues, over six majestically constructed choruses, illustrates Parker's depth of connection to and understanding of this most archetypal of forms. Donna Lee A l though credi ted to P arker, there i s a strong suspi ci on am ongst musicians that this 'line' over the chord progression of Indiana, was actually penned by the young trumpeter Miles Davis, who spent much of his formative period as the saxophonist's sideman. If this is indeed the case, then the tune is a classic example of how Parker's vocabulary was identified and applied by his contemporaries. Anthropology This is a daring virnrosic performance at 'break-neck' tempo of a Parker 'line' over the chord progression I of Got Rhythm (which musicians now refer to as 'rhythm' changes).These changeshave been a stalwart of many jazz players up to and including the present day. til7ith its rapidly moving harmony, albeit within tonic and subdominant key areas, and its cyclic middle eight (III? I I I I I I I l aVl? I I I I I I I I lrl1 | | I I I I I I lV? | I I I I I I I lll it remains a challengeto contemporary improvisers.



Analys ontheSolo Notes

To illustrate this, we will examinethree extractsin the following terms: 1. Chord notes- the t,3, 5,7 of the chord notes- a note or notesthat passbetweentwo chord notes 2. Passing 3. Neighournotes- the four noteswhich are a tone and semi-toneaboveand below a chord note.

It will help us enormouslyin our appraisal of Parker'splaying if we can gain insight into how his no choicesfunction within the melodic line.



( This is bars 22 and 23 of the solo from Billie's Bounce. The Al in bar 23 is a chord note of D7 (the 5th) and is the destination target) of the notes in bar 22. The B, B! and Ab respectivelyconstitute the upper neighbour note, the chromatic upper neighbc note,andthechromaticlowerneighbournotestotheA|,andservetodrawtheeartotreresolutionontothe5thofth

betweentwo chord notes,F and In bar 23, the A (5th), Ff (3rd) and D (root) are obviously all chord notes of D7. The G passes and is thereforea passingnote. The B! in bar 22 is a neighbour note to e A in bar 23. Ihilst appreciatingat the Bq is the 13th D7. it is also useful to realisethat 13ths derivemuch of their particular quality from their relationship with the 5th


The aboveexampleis bars 32-33 (the solo break) from Omithology. The Bf itt bar 33 is the 5th of E major and is the target for I 'prepare' and lead the ear to it. Again, whilst appreciatingtat the Cf is the bt of Bt, e main questionto asl A, Ci and Bbwhich how doesthe note unctionin termsof the melodicphrase? .Ihe

Gh in bar 33 is the lower chromatic neighbour note to the G* (the 3rd of E major). Notice that the Df and Ff (the 7th and I of E maior) are lower and upper neighbour notes to tlre root of E. The 7th and 9th of chords derive their particular qualrty ftr of the 9th the 3rd also. with the root, and in the case their relationship Dd and Cf - which passbetweenE and B (chord notes)- are, in this system'passingnotes.You will notice that The descending and follows it. samenote can havemore than one melodic function, dependingon what precedes



L dreaboveexample(bars11G117 of Anthropologyl,theC and Bb in bar 116 are both neighbour notesto the sth ofET (Bl). The ,a-ond Cl still functions as a neighbour note to BIr although the B is not soundedagain until the beginning of the next bar. An T::portant point about neighbour notes is that they dont haue to be resolvedand, altematively, the resolution can be delayed,as ue. Note that when the Bc (the destinationof the descending phrasein bar 116) is played at the beginningof bar 117, it is now the -::: of A' insteado the 5th of 47. in bar 116 is a chromatic passingnote, coming as it doesbetweentwo chord notes- the root and the 7th o E7:E and D. .r-..rvereiteratelater in the book, Parker accesses this kind of detail and beautyintuitively. That is to say,he wasn't thinking in these ::ns during performance,he was hearing it, Evenwith this brief introduction" it is helpful for us to think about phrasing in e way r--:: the ear hears it - in terms of tension and releaserather than attempting to justify Parker's chromatic choicesin relation to :- :d/scaletheory. That is not to saythat tris approachreplaceschord/scaletheory, rather it complemene it. For e musicianwho r:ries to explore this further, a study of Schenkerian analysisis recommended. =lation to the solos describedin this book, this approach will help to shedlight on why certain things sound so good and, most :ously,to understand Parker's useof chromaticism.

Playing Guide
Short accented note


Accented note


Tenuto mark - hold the note for its full value

Play the note a semitone below the written note, and very quickly releaseinto the written pitch

A 'ghosted note', or note that is only half sounded

Charlie Parker

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Billie's Bounce
Iithin the three choruses,the ideas unfold naturally and in balance with each other. The beginning of the second chorus expands the opening phrase of the first in much the same way as people mull over and return to themes in a conversation.

Bar 23 returns to t h e m o t i f i n b a r 1 8 , w h i c h i t s e l f i s further in bars 41,and42. developed



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the phrasereturnson a different In eachof theseexamples rhythmic placementof the bar. Also seebars 33 and 34 quaver triplet phrasefrom which re-inventthe ascending bars 26 and 27, and bar 42 which is reinforcedby bar 45.


This repetition and, importantly, development o f m a t e r i a l r a i s e sa n musicalissue enormously valuable for us as improvisers that is, it's not
necessarily how many ideas you come up with, but how you work with and expand the ideas you do have and in how many different ways and contexts you can apply them.

Harmonically, we have the usual selection of bounties that Parker regularly servesup - so we have unadulterated blues playing in bar 2l and bars 41-46, in combination with gems of phrasing (bars 24 and 36) which simultaneously d e s c r i b e t h e c a d e n c ep o i n t s a n d w h i c h a r e i n d i v i d u a l melodic statementsin their own right.

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Bar 22 (and 23) which is shown in the exampleabove, containshighly detailedchromatictension and release within the line (see'Notes on the Solo Analysis')as does


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bar 19. The accentuation of the 7th of the D7 chord, prepares the move to the subdominant - a favourite melodic trat of Parker. The subtlety of the man is evident in the way he usesthe tonic (D), initially to bring his first chorus to a conclusion and then to launch the beginning of the next, re-iterating the truth that clarity and simplicity are usually indicative of the greatestintelligence' musical or otherwise.

Practice Tip


from th$irolo'&dteb if X o the melodicphi&s Takesome ' i comPtlse *1*"g *rnj you can usethe marenal "t "_ :". yeltr ou.nblueo solo.Dont be afraidto return1l headand./or io phr"..* you'vealreadyused(this is part of ,hffir$
il"rr"dition of the blues anyway - th ^t i$, t; rnaki*

U r on to ,, . ,n"u. "* "* .'mmert "r",", T the..language$ $ this way you.will naturallybeginm assimilate h";.;;:

ffi"y of thcbtdffieration of pt"ydL YdFffil "ffi q in a crcatirrorray.'&'*. ..o.i* *v. 4 ' perfiormance lo- r perfurrnancein pr".ti.ingmateriel f " [practisin8materiel&omis

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It is an interesting exercise to sing the melody of How High The Moon over Bird's solo here, becauseit becomesapparent that far from obscuring the melody the solo actually functions as an elaboratecounterpoint. One of the reasonsParker'smusic communicatesso directly is of his melodic statementswhich he expertly the completeness frames with space,allowing himself and the music to breathe (bars 36 and 40). Alternativelg he may follow a seemingly fully self-contained idea with a complementary andlor satirical afterthought, such as that which appears in bar 44 (as in all g r e a t a r t t h e r e i s a n i n - b u i l t s e n s eo f p r o p o r t i o n a n d perspective, and internal balance) Throughout the solo Bird useschromaticism to embellish the his playing with the resulting inline, which further energises (seebars 33r 37,45, 50 and so on); built tensionand release the use of the V7(v9)shape (bar 32 and,bars 42 and 46 amongst others); and strong descriptive and melodic chord shapes,utilising Tths and gths (for example bars 33,38,39, 41 and48 to name but a few). Bars 49-57 show Parker taking one melodic idea and adapting it to effect, in this case the modulation to D major. In this instance- bars 51 and 52 - he alters the given harmony: l E m Tl l l l A T l l l l D m a j l l l l D m a jl l l l l with: which he embellishes E r n l A 7/ l D m a j l l l t D m a j l l l l l l E m T / E m - m a j l7 Bird then exploits the inner line of root, major 7th, minor 7th-3rd.




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This became a favourite harmonic device of the bebop generation players such as Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Kenny Dorham and so on. Bars 64 and,65 areinreresting for their use of the 87* chord and the way Bird decorates the ensuingline of the 9-(b13)-(9).


Bar 65 is also interesting for irs use of the melodic qualiry of the unresolved major 7th. Bars 74 - 78 utilise a three-note groupinghnterval structure of a semitonethen a tritone.





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a Bird transposes the structure throughthe chord progression, who, since conceptusedby many contempoaryimprovisers Parkermay Coltrane,haveexploredthis territory extensively. have conceived of this idea from his studiesof Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns,which retainsits resource. relevance asa research

Practice TiP

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The main rhythmic constituent of Parker's solo "(nd the melody) is the quaver or eighth note, so we must be able to deliver the phrasesin a way that ignites the rhythmic vitaliry of the solo. Parker achieves this through the quality of support he maintains for the air stream at ll timesi which a l l o w s h i m t o a c c e n t ,a n d i n v e r s e l yt o ' g h o s t ' ( o r d e emphasise)certain parcs of phrases. In bar 6 of the melody the F! is accentedto enhancethe syncopation of its rhythmic placement in the bar (notice R"y Haynes' bass drum push here in conjunction with this) and the Dh and gb in bar 8 are both subtly inflected to give them more emphasis. Throughout the solo be aware of how you attack and end n'tes, and where you accent within phrases. This will help bring the music alive for you. (Farker's languageis as much a

A good #y.i.ot $fctisi"g':this approaclt 1r

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you're working on at a slower tempo and play it through without tonguing so that you're relying on the air-stream alone for the projection of each note. The next step is to experiment with accents i firstly using the sfi$port from th abdomen and secondlyby introducing the tongue. Once you can make all the notes speak with an even qualiry of sound






acrossthe registersyou can use your tongue to accent, attack

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and inflect notes to good effect. Stylisticallythis is essential to

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the mdii because it is part of the rhythmic dialogueacross rhe whole bad - that is, theib ir inf$lay brw.t th'i:$narc and bassdrum accents and the piano comping,accenrs in the ' line and the soloistic bass statements.
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'' that the $und yo'u h'in your head and feel in your heart
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'i:good tip her is t$l'iefer ro rhe original recording "r,di:[o learn to sing someof the phrases(or the whole solo if you like), so that you beginto 'internalise' the music.Remember


is ,'whatultimatelycomesout of the horn, as much as'any

saxophone/mouthpiece/reed permutation. If you are having difficulry at any time, for instance with a particular phrase, : : : : : : practise it in the same way as you would a technical
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can't fail to cash in on.

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Yardbird Sute

The Slo
This is a miniature masterpieceof construction over just one chorus, and demonstratesthe intuitive compositional mind of a great improviser. It is no coincidence that the first two statementsof the solo are exactly the same length - 3 y, beats- with identical rhvthmic stress.


the kind of The first four bars of this solo demonstrate 'off of manipulating Parkervascapable detailand balance the cuff'. The noteswritten in ExampleL are the key points o f t h e p h r a s e( b a r s 3 6 - 4 0 ) w h i c h t h e e a i s l e d t o melodically.Incidentallythe tune of 'Yardbird' establishes both of the top line here,but in the solo Parkerembellishes as well as a hint at the root theselines simultaneouslS movementin bar 38 - via the A on the last quaver of bar of the line #9 -b9 37 andin bar 39 - melodicexploitation 'lhen we arrive at bar 40, the logical continuationof Sth. to the root of the II7 the upper line would be to descend chord - 8,7- which is why the Cfi, which contradictsthis getsthe maximum from its quality as preparedexpectation, the unresolved9th. This all soundsincredibly academic, and it is important to rememberthat most of this detail intuitively.On the other hand, this kind of was accessed 'kick start' the intuition cognitiveappreciationcan often


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:, 't'i into gea.It can't be a bad thing to considerwh5 and how, !, ril,.lBo.. something soundsgreat! , In bars 42 and 43 Parker went on to use this phraseas a 'riff' bluesheadentitledCool Blues.



Here the root movementis melodicallyembellished within the line, and bars 46 and 47 arc unified by the ascending semitone the G and secondly the Ff . to firstly emphasise
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The above example details the descendingline inherent in bars 45-47 as already shown in example 2.



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In the bridge of this solo bar 5 6 transposesthe contour of the phrase at bar 52 down a tone from Cfi minor to B minor.

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'gesture'of Bar 57. Subtly,Bird Bar 58 reinforcesthe waits to resolvethe Afi in bar 57 until bar 59. Theseexamplesshow Parker making a mockery of the difficulties containedin the chord progressionand they over statement compositional resultin a highly organised 32 bars. Parker'splaying here usestraces Instrumentallyspeaking, of vibrato in the sound in what, for him, is quite an unusual way. As a saxophonisthe was one of the first, after his original model LesterYoung, to curtail the use in a very vocal of vibrato and to useit more discerningly, w a y . I n t h i s s o l o t h e d e l i c a c ya n d f i n e s s eo f P a r k e r ' s perfectlythe invincibility of his sound counter-balances musicalthought process


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melofl and ihn Begin by singineth1 A'section of ,the 'lines' in *pte t HavE r6 move on to singingthe "rt the vocally improvising i8uttd the line and theni"ipeat This can be a lot of with the saxophone. whole procedure fun and will help tj-: and inside the yhrasing lelt"::t ions of Parker'ssolo You can priisethis

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This is an audacious offering from the saxophone player, containing some of his most celebrated and oft-quoted vocabulary (see bars 26-30, bars 34 and 35, and bars 54-56. Throughout, the performance is littered with the most poignant of blues proclamations which remarkably transform relatively simple musical resourcesinto the most strident and meaningful of deliveries (for example bars 37 and 38). This is achieved through an incredible understanding and respect for the tradition that gave rise to this music, backed up by virtuosic instrumental command of articulation and inflection. Over the six chorusesthere is an identifiable pattern to the organisation of material which is self-evident,that is, while the harmony remains more static (for example, in bars L-6 of each chorus on the tonic and sub-dominant chords), the phrasing is more vocal and drawn out.
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Bird saves his more explosive passages double-time for bars 7-12 of eachchorus,wherewe havethe bebopgeneration's harmonic adaptations to the blues for which Parker \Mas very much responsible. For example,from bar 7 of the chorus:


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H e r e t h e p h r a s i n gi s more descriptiveof the shifting harmony.

Before we leave this solo, bar 52 is interesting becauseBird intimates at the tritone substitute of D7 which is Ab7.


UnusuallS however,he does this in bar 3 of the chorus. This is interestingbecause it was more conventional, and still is, to insert the tritone substitutionin bar 4 of the

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- G7. Bars 63 and 64 are interesting blues,in this case Ab7 'With thrbl( Bird implies the harmony of Eb7. because chord functioningas the tritone dominant of D7 (that is, of the dominantof D7- A7), the tritone substitute
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t h e s ea r e h a r m o n i c p r i n c i p l e st h a t h a v e s u b s e q u e n t l y major roads of inquiry for many of the playersat become the forefront of the music.

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When practising,hit pi.i., seeii you can really get inside I the more blues-orientated phrases, and deliverthem as if , you wei singing!As with all thesetranscriptions, it is
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essentialto check out the original recording, bCus the inflection and rhythmic placement is so personal, and
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notation is only the starting point for the music. Jazz ts, : ::,':: ' : and always has ben,primarily an aural tradition. : :,

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Parker's solo containsmuch of the harmonicinformation and contour from the actual melody,material which has been assimilated by the tradition because of its enduringmelodic strengthand harmoniclogic. A detailedstudy of the melody in itself,however, let us concernourselves would be beneficial here with the Parker solo which containsall of the musical ideasand principles within the original line - and more. One of the defining aspects of Bird's sryleas opposedto his predecessors who influencedhim (for example,Lester in his Young), was his use of the added notes/extensions arpeggiationof the harmony. So for example,as we have already he arpeggiates the V7(b9) chordsfrom seen elsewhere, the 3rd of the v7(b9) chord (superimposing a resulting in bars34,39,50, 55, 58,66,76,82 7th shape) diminished and 90. Likewise,he arpeggiates the G9 from the 3rd to the natural 9 - over G7;. See (superimposing the notesB D F A - Bm7(bs) the melody at the bars 35, 67 (where Bird paraphrases beginningof the secondchorus),77 and 83. Notice that is essentially the although the material in theseexamples his rhythmic permutationand placement in the bar and same, the bar line is seemingly endless. across It is here that we come acrossanother favourite deviceof Parker- alteringthe harmonicmetreof the chord progression so that the resolutionis either delayedor brought forward slightly.In bars 38 and 39 the underlyingharmony is C7-p. However,when we arriveat the F chord,Bird is still outlining the arrival of the tonic chord. chord,thus delaying theC7(b9)


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Similarly in bar 5 5, the stated harmony is D*7, but Bird outlining the V7(belof Dm7 which is A7(be).


\fhen he does finallv resolve to the tonic chord (bv. imp\icaton with ttre T\ n bar 56.,the hatmony of the tune hasmovedto A7(b9)r wherethe Cm -F7 which we Anotherexampleis at bar 7"1, are moving to is brought forward by three beatsto expand from 17to lVmai (that is, (Cm) F7-Bb the cadence ).

Finally thereis the phrasein bar 92, which is anticipatingthe harmonvin bar 93 (thetonic chord of F major). '1 ,**r*e*"*'
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The effectof this harmonicdisplacement is exrremely subtle. At the time Bird was doing this, many of the rhythm section p l a y e r sf e l t t h a t t h e y w e r e i n t h e w r o n g p a r t o f t h e progression. The concept of altering the harmonic merre has been exploited ever sinceBird, and understanding it will throw somelight on many contemporaryimprovisers, although stylisticallythey may be very different. Another of Parker's mannerisms was to chromatically'fill in' the space of a descending major 3rd interval- for example, in bar 37 between the 9th and the 7th of G minor (A-F), and in bar 92 wherehe chromatrcally'fillsin' the major 3rd interval between E and C. Bar 79 is interesting because of its arpeggiation of the minor chordthroughtheTth,gth and 11th.


The phrasethen falls ro rhe Sth of C7(b9b13) ui" rhe accented bB of C7(b9b13). Thi, is a goodexample of how parkercould bg -b13 - 5. Thereis an decorate a guidetone line,in this case echoof this ideainbar 94. Bars 60-67 and bars 95-96 show Parkerinsertingan AJ^7 b e t w e e nA m i n o r a n d G m i n o r t o c r e a t e a s t r i n g o f descending minor 7ths,a favouritedevice of his.


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Other hallmarks of Parker'sstyle include: outlining of the 1 in lrar 44',,hrD/(! 11) chrc"d. h, \m 4Lard,'"h. *' t! 1 ) chrorC, 'Honeysuckle Rose'motif in bar 38; and the repetitionof the phrase at bars47, 59 and 87. T h r o u g h o u t t h e s o l o P a r k e r d e c o r a t e st h e l i n e w i t h notes.For example,at chromaticneighbourand passing bar 94, the Db and Bh both targer the C in the following as the upper bar and can be thought of respectively chromatic and lower chromatic neighbournotes to C. Of courseParkerdidn't think of this when he was performing' and we certainly don't need to. However,it is crucial to either intuitively or cognitively(and preferably understand, both), how notes function within a melodic line. For ''Shat'sthe major 7th example,if we immediatelythink doing over a C7 chord at bar 94?', then we've missedthe point! 'Thereare The point is, as the greatpianistBill Evanssaid, Ultimatelythere nO wrong notes,iust wrong resolutions'! are no rulesand no right and wrong.
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Take some of the recurring material we've examined and

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fingers,pr*ctis improvisin$ using the shape i,,,md.t'.'your a n d t h e n s e ei f y o u c a n i n c o r p o r a t e i t i n y o u r o W n 1, ; improvisation.Another \Mayof working in this area is to Bird.superimposes a ,rtake a bl' (for examplebar 56)'"fthef iili shapeover A7P9iL3) descending Gm7(b5) and resolves ir 'l i:i.


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this with ideas and sounds you are attracted to. The i '

intention here is to take Bird's solo as a starting point *r,iiil our olvr, *rrri''"1 $I"bwth and exploration. It is fine t.. practise Parker'sphr:['ses and tra"'lposb them io all kef$1iiru

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but where it beginsto get exciting is when you start to . p r a c t i s ea n d a p p l y t h e m u s i c a lp r i n c i p l e sb e h i n d t h e , i phrases! , ii$

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(also known as Thriving From A Riff) Parker's solo here representsthe man at the peak of his immense powers instrumentally, structurally and
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imaginatively. The solo contains many examples of Bird's harmonic freedom and progressive approach, and there are concepts contained therein that have been retained and expanded upon ever since. For instance, bar 37 alludes to a possible tritone substitution Db7 fo, G7, moving to C7, and the last two beats of bar 82 whereFT(f,11)is implied, moving to E7 6z(il11) is the tritone substitute of B7 - the original harmony here).



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Another outstanding example of Bird's forward harmonic 'lf thinking is demonstrated by the material in the first rwo sectionsof the secondchorus, where he superimposesa string of V7(b9)chords, ultimately moving to chord IV7 . He realises this largely with connecting diminished 7th shapes that describethe implied V7(b9)-ou.ments.

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Then in bars 62 and 8 8 we have the insertion of a blI^uj7 chord resoiving to the tonic (that is, Ab9 goirrg to G). The major chord a semitone above the tonic, or chord we are movmg to, functlons very much like a dominant.
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This is a principle he explores further in the B secion of the second chorus, where the state d B7 chord is approached with a c major idea. In bar 1,07 the insertion of gb minor crearesa successionof chromatically descendingmin or 7th chords, implying B minor - E7- Bb mino r - Eh7- Aminor - D7,or more

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and L20 wherethere A similarideacan be found in bars 1,1,9 of pb7$W7; rhifting implication, is description, and therefore to D7 N7).
These harmonic devices,although radical for the time, were ideasthat Parker may have been inspired to explore from his 'Giant of the exposure to the great pianist Art Tatum and the 'Bean' Hawkins who were tenor saxophone' Coleman masters at embellishing and expanding upon the existing

harmonic content.They may also have reflectedhis music. Parker was highly interestand study of classical musically aware'acrossthe board' (note his humourous rn bars 124-1'26, reference to Chopin'sA maior Polonaise clarinet celebrated and his quotationfrom AlphonsePicou's obligato from High Society(bars 97-98). Indeed,Parker
was a master of quotation and was able to incorporate the most banal of contemporary themes into his improvisations and produce moments of pathos andlor humour from the satire and social comment that ensued. In organisational terms, this solo contains much crossreferencing and development of ideas over the duration of three choruses.Thus the phrase in bars 78 and 79 is an echo of the opening phrase of the solo (the Cil at the end of the by Parker's use of the side D phrase may have been accessed 'high' D, without the fingering - the authentic fingering for octave k.y). Parker's stock vocabulary is well representedthroughout. It is imponant to realise that he uses much of this material as a writer uses punctuation, that is, his use of certain phrases is g:rrnmatical and, as such, helps the overall structuring of lkas. For example, the classicphrase in bar 35 is repeatedan

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octavehigher to top off the extraordinaryfracured line of bars 36 to 40. lt appearsagain in bar 47 and there is a variation of it in bar 103. Bars 110-1l,L refer back ro bars 4647 , but noticehow Parkercomes in and out of this phrase differently. Likewise,bars 116-118 are a direct lifting of bars 84-86, but in eachcasethe line either side of this contains differentmaterial. It is important to rememberthe speedof this performance) and that anorher facetro rhe reperition of language is that it allowsthe improviserro rhink ahead,buyinghim time. The bridge of the first chorus illusrrates how parker could take one idea and developit for an extendedperiod. In this case,the semitoneinterval is the prevailingmusicalidea for bars 49-56. (An instrumentalnote here- you may want to p r a c t i s eb a r s 4 9 - 5 0 w i t h t h e l o n g B b a n d t h e s i d e c fingerings, alsousingthe Bis key Bband normal C fingering.)

Practice Tip

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Playingfast temposrequiresthe ability to sray physically relaxed.In terms of fingeiing, economyof movementand a comfortablehand position are vital. This can be facilitatedby increased control of the weakerfingers. For example, over a ' period of time you may find ir usefulro 'anchor' th* ,ight hand little finger ver the Ebkey and the lefr hand little finger " over the Gfi key. Pracrisingslowlg with the intenrion of "o'f moving the fingers away from thesekeys and maintaining u.,;i relaxed hand position at all rimes, will begin to facilitrt*liil t' econom y of movementand increased co-ordination "rrd ' .:.,i':.
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