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As keeper of the bebop flame lit by Charlie Parker, Charles McPherson is a tremendous alto saxophone player with his own style-within-the-style. Thoroughly saturated in Parker’s rhythmic and melodic innovations, McPherson has honed an individual sound with a gleaming sharp edge.

After years of gigs in Detroit in the 1950s with pianist Barry Harris, McPherson moved to New York and worked on and off as one of Charles Mingus’ most trusted sax players, playing on countless of Mingus’ best works. Since the mid-’70s, though, he has worked on his own, producing a series of straight-ahead recordings that are consistently dynamic expressions of the bop idiom. The 1995 CD “Come Play With Me” and 1998’s “Manhattan Nocturne” are eloquent, satisfying workouts that showcase McPherson’s own complex compositions along with fresh reworkings of bop standards.

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