Because of its combination of a strong melody and challenging but logical chord structure, "All the Things You Are" has become a popular jazz standard, and its changes have been used for such tunes as "Bird of Paradise" by Charlie Parker, "Prince Albert" by Kenny Dorham and "Boston Bernie" by Dexter Gordon. (Lee Konitz's "Thingin'" even introduces a further harmonic twist by transposing the chords of the second half of the tune by a tritone.) The beboppers introduced two favourite devices into performances of this tune, which are still sometimes encountered in performance: one is a brief introduction and conclusion that parodies Rachmaninoff's prelude op. 3 no.2; the other is an interpolation of the donkey's song from Ferde Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite.
The verses start off with these lines:
Time and again I've longed for adventure
Something to make my heart beat the faster
What did I long for, I never really knew
Charlie Parker was quoted as saying this song had his favorite lyrics. He used to call it "YATAG" which is an acronym for the lines "you are the angel glow" in the "B" part of the tune. (Ethan Iverson tipped his hat to this phrase by calling his drastic reworking of the tune's chords "Neon".)
"All the Things You Are" is a song composed by Jerome Kern, with lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II.
Charles "Charlie" Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), also known as "Yardbird" and "Bird", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and improvisation. Parker introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. His tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber. Many Parker recordings demonstrate his virtuoso playing style and complex melodic lines, sometimes combining jazz with other musical genres, including blues, Latin, and classical.
Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career and the shortened form, "Bird", which continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspired the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite", "Ornithology", "Bird Gets the Worm", and "Bird of Paradise."
Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, rather than an entertainer.
By the early 1940s, Parker was a prominent figure in the emerging bebop scene. According to an interview Parker gave in the 1950s: one night in 1939, he was playing "Cherokee" in a jam session with guitarist William 'Biddy' Fleet when he hit upon a method for developing his solos that enabled him to play what he had been hearing in his head for some time, by building on the chords' extended intervals, such as ninths, elevenths, and thirteenths. Still with McShann's orchestra, Parker at this time realized that the twelve tones of the chromatic scale can each be quickly led melodically to any key, breaking some of the confines of simpler jazz soloing.
Early in its development, this new type of jazz was rejected and disdained by many older, more established jazz musicians, whom the beboppers, in response, called 'moldy figs'. However, some musicians, such as Coleman Hawkins and Benny Goodman, were more positive about its development. It was not until 1945 that Parker's collaborations with Dizzy Gillespie had a substantial effect on the jazz world. One of their first (and greatest) small-group performances together was only discovered and issued in 2005: a concert in New York's Town Hall on June 22, 1945 (now available on Uptown Records).