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mrjazzman

The Masters

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When you get tired of these young cats ignoring tradition (Bird, Trane, Diz, Miles, Cannonball, Jackie, Monk, Dexter, Stitt, Yusef, Henderson I could go on and on)then you go see/hear one of the last living performing Masters, Parker-ite Charles McPherson.  Were you in the audience with me last night at Dinkelspiel Auditorium at Stanford  I don't know where to begin, can't find the words.  I'll  start with amazing.  This guy is 83 years old and sounds like he did when he was 33. And unlike these cats today, he started with, you guessed it, a Parker song(can't remember which one)I almost jumped out of my seat. Then followed up with Nature Boy, I couldn't believe my ears. He's still got the speed, agility and his ideas are still on point. I really liked his rhythm section. Jonathan Blake very nice on drums. Best Jazz music I've heard in probably 10 years. And, on a Monday night and a little drive from Oakland to Stanford. He's in a teaching program there.  Kudos to Stanford. Next, Diane Reeves..........

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Great story, thanks for sharing!

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Thanks for sharing. 

Time flies: When I started to listen to jazz, McPherson was best known for his tenure with Mingus from the mid 60´s to the first half of the 70´s and he always popped up for some special occasion like on those "C-Jam-Blues" and "Perdido" at Carnegie Hall 1974. When I first saw his name on cover he was a young man in his 30´s. 
It´s interesting to hear him play Birdlike-Phrases, he has a much softer sound than Bird had. Maybe McPherson´s sound is more orientated on the more mellow alto sound of Bird from 1953-55 when he used softer reeds than the famous Rico Nr. 5 from the mid forties.....

I remember when I bought "Mingus at Monterey" some months after "The Great Concert", I was a bit disappointed since my main interest of the "Great Concert" was Eric Dolphy and "Monterey" sounded somehow "tame" in comparation with "Great Concert", but beautiful that Ellington Medley...., Meditations doesn´t sound as great as the versions with Dolphy...., 

By the way, at that age I had thought "Monterey" is the english name for "Montreux" , like "Vienna" is for "Wien":lol:

I must admit that I have not heard very very much McPherson in other context than Mingus, maybe he was not on contract with the mostly bought jazz labels of that time "BN, Impulse", "Prestige", "CBS" , let´s say I had heard ton´s of Jackie McLean and Dolphy in other contexts like Mingus, as sidemen and of course as leaders, but less of McPherson....

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6 hours ago, Eric said:

Great story, thanks for sharing!

I appreciate your response.  As you can see, I don't come here often. But sometimes I feel compelled to critique. Because of the great Parker-ite Charles McPherson, this is one of those times..........               

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4 minutes ago, mrjazzman said:

I appreciate your response.  As you can see, I don't come here often. But sometimes I feel compelled to critique. Because of the great Parker-ite Charles McPherson, this is one of those times..........               

from 1939-1941 Cab Calloway's trumpet section consisted of my Grandfather Lamar Wright Sr., Dizzy Gillespie, and Mario Bauza. My Dad Elmon Wright, trumpet Diz's big bebop band 1948-1950.  My Uncle Lamar Wright Jr. played in Charlie Barnet's band. I played 2nd trumpet(all the solo's)Ben Franklin Jr. High School Band San Francisco CA circa 1960. But was lazy, didn't like to practice, wasn't very good and dropped it in high school. Both of my Grandfathers's sons followed in his footsteps and became jazz trumpet players. Check Wikipedia for short articles on all three of them..............

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Your grandfather was a truly great trumpet player.  

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Drove to Phoenix this past winter to see Charles McPherson one night  at The Nash. He had a fine rhythm section, and Charles sounded fantastic. One of the truly great jazz musicians  playing today even at his advanced age.

It was well worth the drive and motel expense to have the opportunity to see and hear see wonderful music. 

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Posted (edited)

On 7/27/2022 at 3:05 AM, John L said:

Your grandfather was a truly great trumpet player.  

Just like Cat Anderson and Cootie Williams he could hit some seriously high notes,  high c above c. Was a contemporary of and looked like Louis Armstrong's brother. I have a photo of them sitting at a table together.  Haven't seen it in a while but I believe my Grandfather stands and takes a short solo during a production number in the movie Stormy Weather with Lena Horne.  Check it out. Also, you can see my dad Elmon Wright in the trumpet section(with Dave Burns and Willie Cook) of Diz's bebop big band on a DVD called Jivin' In Bebop. James Moody, John Lewis, Cecil Payne and Ray Brown were in that band. Check out the article on allmusic.com under "Lammar Wright Jr." about my three guys. There's also an article on Wikipedia about all three

 

 

Edited by mrjazzman

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Posted (edited)

If you feel like further supporting Charles, he sells a couple of CDs and a tee shirt at his website. There's even an option to get an autographed publicity shot if you so choose. I bought both CDs from him many years ago. https://charlesmcpherson.com/store/

Edited by bresna

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