For the second of his three Mainstream sessions (one that has been reissued on CD), the bebop altoist Charles McPherson pays tribute to Billie Holiday; in fact, "Siku Ya Bibi" means "Day of the Lady" in Swahili. The emphasis is mostly on ballads, with "Miss Brown to You" and "Lover Come Back to Me" being exceptions. Four of the eight selections find McPherson backed by ten strings arranged by Ernie Wilkins, while the remainder of the date has the altoist joined by a rhythm section that includes pianist Barry Harris. Although not quite up to the level of his upcoming, more freewheeling Xanadu sessions, this is a fine outing. Highlights include the two aforementioned cooking pieces, "Lover Man," "Good Morning Heartache," and "I'm a Fool to Want You."
Some of the songs on this set by bop-influenced altoist Charles McPherson (reissued on CD in 1997) use boogaloo and pop rhythms. The repertoire ranges from a couple of OK originals ("Little Sugar Baby" and "Like the Way You Shake That Thing") to a recent show tune ("Once in a Lifetime") and a few standards. Pianist Cedar Walton, the young guitarist Pat Martino, bassist Peck Morrison and drummer Lennie McBrowne form the strong supporting cast. Not one of McPherson's most essential releases, as the material and arrangements are just not that strong; nevertheless, the altoist still plays well, and his fans will want to pick up this reissue.
Charles McPherson delves into a number of standards in this collection of timeless ballads, well accompanied by pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist David Williams, and drummer Leroy Williams. The alto saxophonist's tone has a bit of a bluesy edge throughout the sessions, as if he is reminiscing about a past love. His heartfelt rendition of "My Ideal" stands out, as do his two interpretations of songs by Nicholas Brodszky, "Be My Love" and "Love Letters." McPherson picks up the tempo with "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," though his tone doesn't shift to a lighter mood. The relaxed mood makes this release perfect for late-night listening. The only drawback with this CD is the ugly cover photo, which McPherson denounced as very tasteless during a 2007 interview.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Beautiful work from one of our favorite vibes players – a return to basic hardbop from Dave Pike, recorded in conjunction with soulful altoist Charles McPherson! Given the title, and the tunes, the set's ostensibly a tribute to Charlie Parker – but the tunes themselves are played in more open, introspective versions than Bird might have done, especially considering the use of the vibes! In fact, McPherson drops out for a number of tracks on the set, letting Pike take the main solos on some of the tunes, and even stepping aside for one piano trio-only number as well. Titles include "Old Folks", "Anthropology", "Ornithology", and "Bluebird".
Bebop is the thing on this excellent outing as altoist Charles McPherson and pianist Barry Harris do their interpretations of Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. With trumpeter Carmell Jones, bassist Nelson Boyd and drummer Al "Tootie" Heath completing the quintet, the band romps through such bop classics as "Hot House," "Nostalgia," "Wail" and "Si Si" along with an original blues and "Embraceable You." A previously unissued "If I Love You" is added to the CD reissue. McPherson and Jones make for a potent frontline on these spirited performances, easily recommended to fans of straightahead jazz.
Charles McPherson delves into a number of standards in this collection of timeless ballads, well accompanied by pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist David Williams, and drummer Leroy Williams...
For the second of his three Mainstream sessions (one that has been reissued on CD), the bebop altoist Charles McPherson pays tribute to Billie Holiday; in fact, "Siku Ya Bibi" means "Day of the Lady" in Swahili.