“The Journey” – Charles McPherson

“The Journey” – Charles McPherson

CD to be released February 17, 2015 on Capri Records

Charles McPherson, saxophone legend,  one of the last genuine performers of bebop saxophone, is keeping up the great work by releasing a new masterpiece called “The Journey”. The new album represents all the energy, imagination, technical agility and expressive warmth made in decisive associations with Charles Mingus, Barry Harris, Pat Martino and Art Farmer. Although, McPherson has been in the public eye since the early 1960s, the wit and pure power of his playing on “The Journey” contradicts that fact. His lyrical and powerful improvisations during the recording are assuring that his career has been on the upswing and that started when he added fervent alto statements to the soundtrack of Clint Eastwood’s 1998 Charlie Parke bio-pic, Bird. With the collaboration with saxophonist Keith Oxman, pianist Chip Stephens, bassist Ken Walker and drummer Todd Reid, McPherson represents his admirable control of the bebop idiom, transforming original tunes and bob classics into bright, refreshing fare.

The origins of “The Journey” can be traced to a meeting between McPherson and Denver-based estimable musicians, Oxman, Stephens, Walker and Raid. The meeting encouraged McPherson to document the apparent, quickly established connection among the five musicians. The sessions in April and May 2014 produced a remarkably calm mix of standards “Spring Is Here” and “I Should Care”, McPherson originals “Manhattan Nocturne”, “The Journey” and “Bud Like” and the work with Oxman and StephensAu Privave”.

Carefully comfortable with the particulars of bebop, Oxman and each of the rhythm team represent an inseparable unit, a rock-solid foundation for McPherson. The main altoist – as smooth as ever on the efficient bop performances and lyrically pointed on ballads – sounds as vigorous and full with ideas as his devotees.

The presence of another saxophonist, stimulates McPherson’s creative juices and adds harmonic to the ensemble. As “The Journey” noticeably manifests, Charles McPherson keeps up the good work and continues his lifelong musical voyage.


December 28th, 2014

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