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Bebop Spoken There

Adam O'Farrill: "Right now in my life, I don't see music as the be-all and end-all." - (DownBeat November 2020).

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12,176 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1315 of them this year alone and, so far, 18 this month (Dec. 5).

Remembering ...

Roland Kirk died on Dec. 5, 1977.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Album review: Charles McPherson's Jazz Dance Suites

Charles McPherson (alto sax); Terell Stafford (trumpet); Lorraine Costellanos (voice); Jeb Patton or Reb Porter (piano); Billy Drummond (drums); David Wong (bass); Yotma Silberstein (guitar).

Following on from Russell's Q & A session with Charles McPherson this, the actual album, authenticates everything the interview suggested it might be - and more!

That McPherson is one of the greats of the alto saxophone we have known since his early days with Mingus and the Parker biopic Bird - not forgetting a memorable session at Newcastle's Corner House.

Inspired by and dedicated to his daughter Camille of the San Diego Ballet, the original music had me entranced. Magnificent sounds somewhat inadequate!

We knew he could blow alto to match the greats, we didn't realise just how well he could write, not just write but how well he could write to suit the terpsichorean activity in these two dance suites. Did he write for the movements of the dancer or did they dance to his tune? Could be a chicken/egg scenario! Who cares? The music is superb and, if the dancing lives up to it, then Swan Lake is now an also-ran.

However, in case you're thinking this is a case of cosying up to the classical music establishment you're wrong. If there's any "cosying up" it's to the world of bebop and its subsequent developments of which McPherson has ridden shotgun for the whole trip as well as occasionally taking over the reins.

In between the two suites, there is the emotional masterpiece, Reflection on an Election. McPherson's blues drenched alto playing leaves no one in any doubt as to where he stands regarding the current administration!

I doubt there will be a better album released this year. It is just so listenable, so danceable, so everything ...
Lance.

PS: McPherson may be the star but the contributions by Stafford, Lorraine Costellanos and the others are up there with him and perhaps a posthumous mention for his old boss Charles Mingus who certainly provided much of the inspiration.

Song of Songs: Love Dance; Heart's Desire; Wedding Song; Hear my Plea; Thinking of You; After the Dance; Praise; The Gospel Truth.

Reflection of an Election.

Sweet Synergy Suite: Sweet Synergy; Delight; Nightfall; Marionette; Song of the Sphynx; Tropic of Capricorn.

1 comment :

Lynn Sundfor-McPherson said...

Thank you for the great review of this music that we love played by a handpicked superb band, recorded at the historic Van Gelder Studiio. https://charlesmcpherson.com/chazz-mack-music/
Stay well....

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