Charlie Parker @100

Saturday, 29th August 2020 marks the 100th Birthday of Charlie Parker. Parker, (nicknamed ‘Yardbird’ or simply ‘Bird’) is quite simply one of the most important saxophonists who has ever lived. His mastery of the instrument and the music has arguably never been surpassed and the influence he has had on every saxophonist, even every jazz musician that came after him is legendary.

Sadly, owing to Covid-19 I can’t be at his graveside with others this Saturday as I had originally planned. There’s various videos on YouTube of others doing this over the years, but it simply won’t be possible for me, or many others to play ‘Happy Birthday’ to Bird this Saturday.

However – I’d like to do a little bit of a last minute ‘challenge’ and get as many saxophonists as I can to play Parker’s ‘Now’s The Time’

Submit to [email protected] and I will publish the video at some point on Saturday – our little way of marking Bird’s 100th Birthday, even during these difficult times.

If you really want to get to grips with this then have a look at my Now’s The Time Transcription Project.

Download the lead sheets

Bb / Eb Lead sheets (one file)

Download the backing track

With Melody

Without Melody (just backing)

What to do

  • Record the Head x 2
  • Record as many solos as you can manage, (maybe include your favourite Charlie Parker phrase?)
  • Record the Out-Head