My Life in E-flat is the remarkable memoir of a woman who witnessed some of the most important movements in the history of jazz. Through her autobiography, Chan Parker provides intimate insights into the music and into life with Charlie Parker, the key figure in the development of bebop and one of the most important of all jazz musicians.
Born Beverly Dolores Berg in New York City at the height of the Jazz Age, Parker's father was a producer of vaudeville shows and her mother was a dancer in Florenz Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic. Parker became part of the jazz culture as a nightclub dancer and later as the wife of jazz saxophonists Charlie Parker and then Phil Woods.
In a moving and candid portrait of Charlie Parker, the author describes in harrowing detail a man of incredible talent besieged with addictions and self-destructiveness. She painfully recounts his death at the age of 35 while married to her and its effect on her life as well as on the musical world. Parker's honest portrait of one of the most gifted musicians in jazz provides unique insight into the history of the music and the difficulties faced by African American performers during the 1940s. Parker also reflects on her struggle to find her own voice and on her work with Clint Eastwood on the film biography of Charlie Parker, Bird (1988).