This jazz monger known for his eccentric persona, hip suits, hats, sunglasses, and some of the most complex jazz harmonies that can be found, is quite frankly the complete package. A thrillingly talented pianist and performer, abrupt pauses and percussive attacks were just a few of the innovative techniques he brought into jazz.
Ah, Lady Day. She brought some much-needed feminine energy to the jazz playground. With her deep, personal approach to her vocal jazz incantations she fast became one of the most popular singers of the 20th century.
The king of improvisation was a saxophone virtuoso, as well as a brilliant composer. Along with Miles Davis, he helped redefine the bebop style of jazz. He was honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as well.
Charlie Parker is a name synonymous with this genre and not without reason. He was known simply as the “Bird” and his cool hipster persona influenced jazz musicians everywhere. He also helped promote the idea that jazz musicians were artists and intellectuals. He had a greatly innovative style and he utilized complex chord harmonies and a clean, fast tone.
This jack of all trades was at the forefront of many major developments in jazz music, from bebop to cool jazz and modal jazz. Besides his own extraordinary talent, many other musicians became famous as part of his ensemble, including John Coltrane from this very list! He was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.