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Charles McPherson's Post-Bird Bop: A 70th-Birthday Tribute

Published: 2009-07-24
Charles McPherson Charles McPherson is an alto saxophonist who spent much of his early career under the spell of jazz great Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
–but who fired the Parker sound with his own intense energy and expressive skills. Championed by jazz writer Ira Gitler, McPherson made a number of records for Prestige throughout the mid-to-late 1960s, garnering generally good reviews and gaining notice in a 1967 Downbeat critics’ poll as “talent most deserving of wider recognition.” But it was the era of the avant-garde, Miles Davis’ second great quintet, and the emerging influence of rock—and McPherson’s bebop-steeped sound struck some as antiquated. In a 1968 interview with Chris Albertson, McPherson criticized his contemporaries who, in his words, “segregated” themselves from certain kinds of music.


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