Synopsis by Rose of Sharon Winter
This black-and-white documentary traces the life and music career of Charlie Parker, known around the world as "Bird." The unmistakable sound of his saxophone resonated with jazz fans everywhere, but particularly within the African-American community. The anger and hurt over racism in America is reflected in Bird's intensity on the saxophone. That same rage was turned against himself and precipitated Bird's early death from drug and alcohol abuse. His musical legacy is presented in this film, with performances by Parker and other jazz luminaries, such as Billie Holiday, Ben Webster, and Dizzy Gillespie. Archival film footage includes the only extant footage of Parker.