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Charlie Parker

When he was in Kansas City, Parker was not thought of as a very good musician because he wanted to do something different than everyone else. He worked endlessly on what became bop, which was revolutionary. He was like, "This is the way I hear it, this is the way I'm gonna play it, whether you like it or not." I don't know that you would have Jimi Hendrix if not for bop. Parker had a tragic life, obviously, but his commitment to his sound was very strong, and I have a huge admiration for him. Listen to "Relaxin' at Camarillo" or "Cool Blues" and you can see that the guy isn't just a really good sax player, but also a really good writer. 

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