Chuck Haddix: the young Bird took flight in Kansas City

Charlie Parker’s emergence on the New York City jazz scene in 1942 changed the trajectory of jazz forever.

Chuck Haddix, author of Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker, says in an appearance on KCPT-TV’s “The Local Show,” that Parker had hatched his revolutionary style before he went to the Big Apple.¬†Haddix asserts he has uncovered evidence that “Bird” was already playing bebop in Kansas City.

“I uncovered a previously unknown recording of Charlie Parker playing with Jay McShann. It’s an instantaneous cut disk that was recorded in [Kansas City in] February of 1941,” Haddix says. “He was a fully formed musician who was already playing bebop by the time he went to the Savoy ballroom.”


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