catesta

Charles McPherson

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Is this guy good, really good, or is he great?

I picked up the Barry Harris date titled "Bulls Eye" on Sunday. I have to say McPherson really shines.

I'm guessing picking this one up is a no brainer?c32477844gs.jpg

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Carmell Jones.. you gotta support your Jones.

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Still playing great.

I've got a couple of recent Japanese issued CDs & a live CD done in Canada.

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I've been digging Don Patterson's Boppin' & Burnin' today.

McPherson is blowin' away.

This cd has an interesting group on it: Patterson on organ, Howard McGhee on trumpet, McPherson on alto, Pat Martino on guitar, Billy James on drums.

This is an album in which the title doesn't lie.

:rsmile:

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Yeah, yeah, catesta! McPherson is GREAT!! Though Charles lives in San Diego (my home town) he doesn't play here terribly frequently. When he does, I make every effort to be there. I've yet to hear a weak McPherson recording. My collection has a combination of his classic/more current recordings. I'd surely recommend Bebob Revisited, as well as "Come Play With Me" with Mulgrew Miller, Santi Debriano and Lewis Nash. (1995 release on Arabesque)

Charles is one of my all-time favorite alto players -- fantastic sound, wonderful phrasing and truckloads of soul!

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I'd surely recommend Bebob Revisited, as well as "Come Play With Me" with Mulgrew Miller, Santi Debriano and Lewis Nash. (1995 release on Arabesque)

It does look like a winner.

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DEEP, He Say BUY

actually he'd probably say.. Cat Teaser, satisfy your Jones with Charlie Pherst.

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Looks worth it just for the cover alone, I'd say.

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Just d/l bebop revisited from emusic, I'm on track 3, so far sounds great! Thanks for the recommendation! Boppin and Burnin is next.

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Worth repeating - McPherson's playing on Mingus' LET MY CHILDREN HEAR MUSIC is so very, VERY good - miss it at your peril, especially what he does on "The Chill Of Death". Although tagged (perhaps fairly) as a "bebop ghost" early in his career, he soon moved past the recreative and established his own distinct, wholly personal voice. Those Xanadu sides from the late 70s are all worth the hunt, as is the Newport In New York Jam Session date on Cobblestone where McPherson is joined by Buddy Tate, Jimmy Owens, Cat Anderson, Roland Hanna, Milt Buckner, Charles Mingus, and Alan Dawson on two side-long jams - "Jumpin' At The Woodside" & "Lo-Slo Blues". Sublime is what it is.

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Talking about "sublime" music: I recently picked up an LP of the Charles McPerson Sextet on the Discovery label: THE PROPHET (recorded in LA in 1983). Very interesting, what one could call "post bop" jazz. Much more advanced music then what I expected.

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Catesta - you got my curiosity up with this last post, so I went to AMG to check this recording out. And from there to half.com where I placed an order. Curse you sir! ;)

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Surprised to see very few threads here dedicated to McPherson. Hope you guys don't mind me reviving this ancient one? In the past few days, I received in the mail McPherson's "Bebop Revisited. What a great album. Have to admit it wasn't till recently I became familiar with McPherson through the above Barry Harris date "Newer Than New". This album(Bebop) has proven to be a very pleasant surprise. I enjoy the front line tandem of McPherson and Carmell Jones along with fine support from Barry Harris. Probably the highlight from this date is the ballad "Embraceable You" which focuses on the playing of McPherson and Harris with Jones sitting on the sidelines. Very nice. Since I have the floor, do you guys have any thoughts on the albums "Con Alama" and "Live At The Five Spot"?

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Surprised to see very few threads here dedicated to McPherson. Hope you guys don't mind me reviving this ancient one? In the past few days, I received in the mail McPherson's "Bebop Revisited. What a great album. Have to admit it wasn't till recently I became familiar with McPherson through the above Barry Harris date "Newer Than New". This album(Bebop) has proven to be a very pleasant surprise. I enjoy the front line tandem of McPherson and Carmell Jones along with fine support from Barry Harris. Probably the highlight from this date is the ballad "Embraceable You" which focuses on the playing of McPherson and Harris with Jones sitting on the sidelines. Very nice. Since I have the floor, do you guys have any thoughts on the albums "Con Alma" and "Live At The Five Spot"?

Have 'em both and like 'em (big fan of "Bebop Revisited," too, my favorite track being Fats Navarro's "Nostalgia"). Just listened to "Live at the Five Spot," in fact. Recommend both if you like the lineup with Barry Harris. "Live at the Five Spot" took me a few listens to get used to: some of the tunes are played at unusually slow tempos, and Lonnie Hillyer is a "different" kind of trumpeter, who isn't technically proficient (at all), but plays a lot of interesting ideas.

Another (older boppish) album worth looking for (although McPherson is the only horn) is "Beautiful!," an all-standards set on Xanadu with Duke Jordan, Leroy Williams and Sam Jones (the latter two frequent associates of Barry Harris).

Edited by T.D.

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I have Con Alma and really like it a lot. Don't have any of his other albums yet though.

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I suppose Mingus at Monterey is not readily available, but his performance on the climactic Meditations from that concert, is very nice indeed.

There's also the Mingus recordings in Paris from 1970, recently reissued, which feature superb McPherson.

Also, Mingus at Chateauvallon, on France's Concerts, is a terrific quartet concert performance.

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Worth repeating - McPherson's playing on Mingus' LET MY CHILDREN HEAR MUSIC is so very, VERY good - miss it at your peril, especially what he does on "The Chill Of Death". Although tagged (perhaps fairly) as a "bebop ghost" early in his career, he soon moved past the recreative and established his own distinct, wholly personal voice. Those Xanadu sides from the late 70s are all worth the hunt, as is the Newport In New York Jam Session date on Cobblestone where McPherson is joined by Buddy Tate, Jimmy Owens, Cat Anderson, Roland Hanna, Milt Buckner, Charles Mingus, and Alan Dawson on two side-long jams - "Jumpin' At The Woodside" & "Lo-Slo Blues". Sublime is what it is.

As good as some of the recordings are, I'd encourage anybody to try and hear McPherson live -- the melodic ecstasy and rapture of his phrasing and the luminosity of his sound really make their best impact when you can feel the air move in the room. He doesn't play licks -- though he's totally coming from the vocabularly of Bird and Bud (and his mentor, Barry Harris). To me, Charles' best stuff is rooted in the go-for-broke spirit you hear on certain live Bird recordings and the elaborate melodic and rhythmic drapery of Bird on "Just Friends."

Re: "The Child of Death"

I did a piece about Charles a few years ago in which the premise was that I played various recordings -- most of which he played on -- to get his reaction and use it as a jumping off point to talk about his life and music. One of the pieces was "The Chill of Death." Here's that section of the story:

McPherson joined bassist-composer Charles Mingus in 1960 shortly after arriving in New York. He and Hillyer were recommended to Mingus by former Detroiter Yusef Lateef. Mingus auditioned them at an afternoon jam session at a coffeehouse, hired them on the spot and had them report to work that night. Mingus' aesthetic was gloriously chaotic. Lush Ellingtonian colors collided with roiled textures, searing intensity and extended forms. Mingus also loved Charlie Parker and in McPherson found a fresh disciple to fold into his sound world.

Recorded in 1971, "Let My Children Hear Music," a masterpiece with an expansive ensemble of winds, brass and strings, includes a Mingus recitation of his own heart-of-darkness poem to dense and brooding accompaniment. McPherson then improvises freely against a hallucinatory backdrop. "Oh, wow," McPherson says softly at the sound of Mingus' voice: The chill of death as she clutched my hand/ I knew she was coming so I stood like a man.

McPherson, who was given no music at the sesson, was told to react to the abstract sound around him. "This is pretty good," he says. "It didn't make me cringe. What I'm consigned to do is not easy. There's no standard harmony or sequential construction. And look what this is about: The emotions are foreboding, mystery and fear. How do you play that? I don't know if melodicism is what you need. Dissonance might be what's called for. I did some of this fairly well, but there were some areas where I think I get too tonal. If I did this now, I'd be less concerned with trying to be melodic. I'd think about how to melodically handle dissonance."

Edited by Mark Stryker

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I had a dream a few weeks ago in which a sixties Ellington record was playing and McPherson was soloing Sounded good! :)

He has a beautiful sound and wonderful musical mind. I totally understand why Mingus gnabbed him, and like what Mingus got ouit of (and put into) him.

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As good as some of the recordings are, I'd encourage anybody to try and hear McPherson live -- the melodic ecstasy and rapture of his phrasing and the luminosity of his sound really make their best impact when you can feel the air move in the room.

I caught McPherson at a San Diego jam session in the late 1970s and was blown away by just what you describe -- especially on a ballad, maybe "Body and Soul." Well beyond anything I've heard from him on record, and I've heard a fair bit. Also, there was another alto player at that session of about McPherson's age -- a local guy who I think had worked in Vegas show bands -- who also was really good. Italian name IIRC, but I don't recall it. Bought a self-produced LP by him, hope I still have it around. Can't get at it right now but will try to remember to look for it.

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Charles McPherson has been one of my favorite alto players since my days in Detroit long long ago.

Many of McPherson's "earlier" recorded works have been posted here. All things of which I am highly fond. But, I want to mention some his more recent CDs as leader.

Arguably my favorite is - Charles McPherson - Live At The Cellar - Cellar Live 000726

This is simply a fabulous session that anyone who likes McPherson needs to get.

Other recent recordings which are all very good include:

Charles McPherson & Don Friedman - A Salute To Bird - Zoo't 2003

Charles McPherson Quartet - Is That It? No, But... - Vega Art 1005

Charles McPherson featuring Steve Kuhn - But Beautiful - Venus TKCV-35331

A very brief memory I have of Charles McPherson.

Back in the early 1960's I had a summer job for the City Of Detroit Department of Parks

and Recreation. I was assigned to work at a park where there was a lot of basketball

playing by neighborhood folks. One afternoon, two guys came over and asked me if they could

use a basketball. As a serious jazz fan, I recognized both of them - Charles McPherson and

Lonnie Hillyer. I spoke with them and told them how much I enjoyed their music. When they

went out to shoot some baskets, I joined them and spent a hour shooting with them.

When I saw McPherson live 25 years later I spoke with him and mentioned that basketball

incident. As expected, he didn't remember me, but it is something I have not forgotten.

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Arguably my favorite is - Charles McPherson - Live At The Cellar - Cellar Live 000726

This is simply a fabulous session that anyone who likes McPherson needs to get.

A big strong HELL YEAH on that one! :tup:tup:tup:tup:tup

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Thanks, I have just order Live At The Celler, while I am listening to McPherson and Barry Harris "Live In Tokyo" on Xanadu 1976.

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