Charlie “Bird” Parker, 1920-1955

  • Directed by Jan Horne
  • Norway, 1989, 180 mins., English

Produced by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Jan Horne’s four-part film on the life of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker is the definitive chronicle of Parker’s remarkable life. Divided into four chronological chapters, each features film clips and interviews that bring to life his brilliant career. Part One, “Now’s the Time,” examines Parker’s early years in Kansas City and his impact on fellow musicians—Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Flip Phillips—after he came to New York in the 1940s. Part Two, “Just Friends,” centers on the New York years and his collaborations with Red Rodney, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, and others. Part Three, “What Is This Thing Called Love?” follows Parker to the West Coast and his collaborations with Chet Baker, Bud Powell, and Thelonius Monk. Part Four, “Autumn in New York,” explores his broader artistic search with the help of composer Edgar Varèse and painter Harvey Cropper and the overview of his life through the eyes of Chan Parker and others.

Genres: Documentary