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Manhattan Nocturne

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Album Review

Alto saxophonist/composer McPherson has been playing masterful bop and its extensions for several decades. He shows no signs of slowing down with this extraordinary set of eight compositions, half that he wrote, split into two bop or bop-informed standards, two low-key numbers, two in the mid-rhythmic range, and two modal ostinato-based figures as vehicles for improvising. All are spiced by the bubbling conga playing of Bobby Sanabria and solidly reinforced by the battleship dense musings of pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Ray Drummond, and drummer Victor Lewis, an undeniably brilliant backing ensemble. Listen to the fluidity of McPherson's on any of these cuts, and you'll know why he remains the eminent extension of Charlie Parker. McPherson concisely digs into "Blue'n'Boogie," then stands back and lets Miller, Drummond, and Lewis fly at about 200 mph. The Afro-Cuban cooker "Fire Dance" lets Sanabria loose, and the whole band really catches fire. The slower tunes are quite a contrast. The ten-plus-minute ballad "How Deep Is the Ocean?" features a ruminating refrain played in ultra dramatic proportions by the saxophonist. The dusky, sensual, black-hued title track and similarly shadowed "You're My Thrill," with Sanabria's skulking congas and Lewis's jungle rhythms transcending the obvious romantic notions, are outstanding examples of music that doesn't have to be burning to be compelling and sensational in its own way. This CD by McPherson is his best of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, and he's done some very good ones. The combination of seasoned, thinking musicians and excellent material, played to the hilt, is too good a combination for any jazz lover to resist. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 24 July 1939 in Joplin, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A Charlie Parker disciple who brings his own lyricism to the bebop language, Charles McPherson has been a reliable figure in modern mainstream jazz for more than 35 years. He played in the Detroit jazz scene of the mid-'50s, moved to New York in 1959, and within a year was working with Charles Mingus. McPherson and his friend Lonnie Hillyer succeeded Eric Dolphy and Ted Curson as regular members of Mingus' band in 1961 and he worked with the bassist off and on up until 1972. Although he and Hillyer...
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Manhattan Nocturne, Charles McPherson
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  • 79,00 kr
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 05 May 1998

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