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Charles "Bird" Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955) was an African-American jazz saxophonist and composer. Early in his career Parker was dubbed Yardbird (there are many contradictory stories of its origin). It was later shortened to Bird and remained Parker's nickname for the rest of his life and inspiration for the titles of his works, such as "Yardbird Suite" and "Bird Feathers". The New York City nightclub Birdland was named after him, as was the George Shearing song "Lullaby of Birdland".
A persistent myth, repeated by many reputable sources, including the Encyclopedia Britannica, is that Christopher was Parker's second Christian name.
Parker is commonly considered one of the greatest jazz musicians. In terms of influence and impact, his contribution to jazz was so great that Charles Mingus commented, "If Bird were alive today, he would think he was living in a hall of mirrors." Bird's talent is compared almost without argument, to such legendary musicians as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, and his reputation and legend as one of the best saxophonists is...