Charlie Parker

1920 (Kansas City, Kans.) – 1955 (New York)

Davis, Gillespie and Roach played with Parker on his definitive bebop recordings; he first played with Gillespie in Hines’ band and then Eckstine’s, where Davis, still at school, got his first break. Gillespie was a particularly close and significant colleague, but temperamentally his polar opposite — Parker’s undisciplined unreliability eventually drove them apart and led Davis and Roach to quit his band. Young had been an idol in his early days — they later played together, as also did Monk, Mingus and Tatum, whose playing had led Parker to take a job washing dishes so he could study the pianist’s technique.

Charlie Parker knew…