Brian Priestley has not just chased but captured the elusive Bird, illuminating the turbulent life and marvelous music with human and musical insight.
Dan Morgenstern, Director, Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies, and author of Living with Jazz
Brian Priestley is one of the most accomplished jazz historians, critics, and biographers, and Chasin’ the Bird is an indispensable gem – an ideal introduction to a major figure in 20th century music and an inventive interpretation of Parker’s life and art that will also engage veteran jazz lovers. The comprehensive discography is a major bonus, making this a handbook every Bird chaser will relish.
Gary Giddins, author of Weather Bird and Tain’t What You Do
An absorbing and serious-minded biography.
Chris Parker, Vortex website
Brian Priestley’s Chasin’ the Bird: The Life and Legacy of Charlie Parker serves as the best overall book on Parker since Gary Giddens’ photo-driven Celebrating Bird.
New York Sun
Priestley’s revised and updated biography… offers valuable insights to Bird’s career, mainly because it is seen through the prism of his music… This volume makes a valuable contribution to jazz literature… A useful addition to the Parker library.
Even if you’ve read other books on Parker, you’ll gain some fresh perspective from this one. And if you’ve never read a book on Parker, you’d be well-advised to make this the first. Though Priestley is clearly a fan, he writes about the good in a clear-headed way and writes about the bad unflinchingly.
Kansas City Star
Easily enjoyed in a single sitting, with your favorite Parker record… Well served by the breadth of Priestley’s musical knowledge and his tenacious desire for accuracy.
New York Times Book Review
Priestley is thorough, accurate and backs up the information faithfully. As a valuable reference and an enjoyable read, Priestley’s book stands out as an essential item for all of us.
Jim Santella, Cadence