Now’s The Time – Charlie Parker
Charles “Yardbird” Parker was an amazing saxophonist who gained wide recognition for his brilliant solos and innovative improvisations. He was, without a doubt, one of the most influential and talented musicians in jazz history.
When I was first introduced to jazz in high school I was floored when I found out that probably 99% (my estimation) of what I was hearing was improvisation. So when I was introduced to the music of Charlie Parker I was completely undone. I had already been exposed to the Charlie Parker Omni Book. Somehow I had not realized that what I was practicing was a product of improvisation. So at that point, Charlie Parker became a saxophone playing god. At the time I had not heard anybody else that played that way. He was the first.
Charlie Parker was probably the biggest influence in the way I play. The second greatest influence was David Sanborn. The Omni Book I mentioned is a book of transcribed solos from Parker recordings. I still play out of it today. It’s a great way to get ideas to play in my own soloing efforts.