Charlie Parker at 19

Birth of BebopI have always been in awe of the structure, melodic content and fire in Bird’s playing. He will forever be revered as an innovator of be-bop music, pioneering the use of rapid passing chords, improvising new variants of altered chords and chord substitutions.

It is interesting to me to hear the earliest recordings of influential artists. It gives perspective on early influences and how much they were to develop.

This recording is made up of two incomplete takes. “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Body and Soul” were recorded in a sound booth in Kansas City with no accompaniment in May of 1920. Mr. Parker was 19 years old at that time.

It is included on a collection of recordings released in 1991 as “The Complete Birth of the Bebop” on Stash Records. The cut also is included in “Bird’s Eyes, Vol. 1” on the Italian label, Philology.

Give this early recording a listen and let me know your thoughts.