Sooner or later, every jazz pianist has to come face-to-face with Charlie Parker. Fortunately for us, "Yardbird" left us many melodies that sound wonderful when played on piano.
Here are my top 4 (and note that they're not always his most famous songs!):
This is one of my favorite jazz melodies to play. Unlike some sax-composed tunes, this one lays comfortably under my fingers as they move across the piano keyboard. I also enjoy improvising over the tune's minor tonality.
2. Shaw 'Nuff
Shaw 'Nuff was one of the earliest bebop tunes. I've always been intrigued by the written introduction. I can't explain why, but I find it to be one of the most compelling moments in all of jazz!
I love how Parker made each 'A' section to this tune a little bit different, as if he's saying the same thing but from a slightly different perspective.
4. Dewey Square
This joyous tune starts brightly on the major 7th and unfolds from there. To me, the melody says "smile!"
So there you have it: 4 Charlie Parker tunes that sound great when played on piano.
Have fun learning them 🙂
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