Charlie "Bird" Parker blew the sound of his soul through his alto and tenor sax, and for many musicians, hearing his music was like a religious conversion. He is immortalized as jazz music's "first existential hero," a blazing talent that burned out at age 35 from heroin, alcohol, and racism.
Charles Mingus was one of the most distinguished and colorful personalities in jazz. He is a virtuoso of the bass who is credited with expanding the instrument's melodic function. When New Orleans jazz moved indoors, the bass replaced the tuba and helped hold down the rhythm of a musical piece. In a
A minimalist jazz pianist who took bebop to even higher heights, Thelonious Sphere Monk was a unique character and a maverick in the music industry. How else can we describe a man who kept his grand piano in his kitchen? Not interested in using his music to please people, Monk strove to discover ways
"I've got to keep experimenting. I feel like I'm just beginning. I have part of what I'm looking for in my grasp, but not all." John Coltrane's music is an experiment in emotional expression. He consistently pursued new domains of musical and spiritual intensity, and developed a style charged with pa