Desert Island Jazz
Charles McPherson (2010)

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Alto saxophonist Charles McPherson is a living legend, a man who has been presenting the authentic bebop vocabulary for about half a century.

Charles was born in Joplin, Missouri, and grew up in Detroit, a town where it seems to those of us from somewhere else that there was a jazz legend on just about every corner: from Sy Oliver and Slim Gaillard through the Jones brothers (Hank, Thad and Elvin), Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan and Kenny Burrell, to Geri Allen, Kenny Garrett, Javon Jackson, Regina Carter and James Carter.

Around Charles's particular corner was another living jazz legend, pianist Barry Harris, to whom Charles would listen at the fabled Bluebird club. He moved to New York City in the late 1950s, and was recommended by fellow-Detroiter Yusef Lateef to another Charles, Charles Mingus, for the alto saxophone chair about to be left empty by Eric Dolphy, a chair he occupied on and off for a dozen years.

Since then, he has made easily a baker's dozen recordings under his own name, and was the featured alto player in Clint Eastwood's movie "Bird", and himself celebrated Charlie Parker with strings some years later.

Critic Stanley Crouch wrote in a New York Times piece that Charles is "a singular voice who has never sacrificed the fluidity of his melody making, and is held in high esteem by musicians both seasoned and young."
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Charlie Parker South of the Border Tico Tico Verve
# 2 Dizzy Gillespie Gillespiana/Carnegie Hall Concert Manteca Verve
# 3 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra The Far East Suite Isfahan RCA
# 4 Béla Bartók Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Piano and Celesta, Chicago Symphony, conducted by James Levine Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 Deutsche Grammophon
# 5 Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring / The Firebird Suite, Leonard Bernstein with the Israel Philharmonic The Rite of Spring Deutsche Grammophon
# 6 John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman Lush Life Impulse
# 7 Charles Mingus Mingus Ah-Um Self-Portrait in Three Colors Columbia
# 8 Pepper Adams Pepper Adams Plays Charlie Mingus Better Git in Your Soul Fresh Sound
# 9 Dizzy Gillespie Sunny Side Up The Eternal Triangle Verve
Book Writings by Zecharia Sitchin
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