Charles McPherson Quartet
Westin Airport Hotel
One of the best-known Charlie Parker disciples Charles McPherson occasionally ventures out from San Diego under favorable circumstances such when he gets the opportunity to play with a crackerjack trio. (He'll be back in LA in March to play a "Bird with Strings" concert.)
McPherson's "Manhattan Nocturne" with an exotic, late-night feel is something of an update on "Harlem Nocturne." The piece unfolded as a medium-slow burn over a Latin figure. "Embraceable You" and "April in Paris" with extended McPherson solos and codas demonstrated his grasp of Parker's ballad style. After a long solo introduction McPherson took an impassioned solo on "Parker's Mood," a medium-slow blues. "Confusions and Delusions" by McPherson unfolded over Coltrane's "Body and Soul" rhythmic backdrop. Kreibich played a polyrhythmic Elvin Jones background behind pianist Greg Kurstin's solo. The pianist was also featured on "Billie's Bounce," a medium-up Parker Blues. Turning Kurstin loose on a blues is like giving dynamite to the Unibomber.
Charles McPherson - alto; Greg Kurstin - piano; Jeff Littleton - bass; Paul Kreibich - drums.