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Synopsis

Martin provides a new overall assessment of the importance of Charlie Parker through an analysis of his improvisations in a variety of genres. Earlier studies of Parker argue that his style is based on an extensive network of melodic formulas that are combined to create solos. Because the same formulas appear throughout his improvisations regardless of the theme, these studies concluded that the solos do not usually relate to the original melodies. Charlie Parker and Thematic Improvisation provides a much-needed reassessment by showing that Parker's solos are often related to the original themes in unexpected and sometimes ingenious ways. The conclusion sums up features of Parker's style and discusses his contribution in the context of Western music history. Numerous transcriptions are provided. This groundbreaking technical study will be of interest to musicologists and serious students of jazz.

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