Thursday, November 05, 2009

Charles McPherson performs with the Rein De Graaf Trio

Charles McPherson performs with the Rein De Graaff Trio ( English) Charles McPherson treedt op met het Rein de Graaff Trio (Nederlands)

Porgy en Bess Jazz Club - Terneuzen ( The Netherlands)

1st of November 2009
Hans Koert

When the first storms whip up the water of the North Sea and rain showers sweep the streets of the villages in the Scheldt delta, the inhabitants of the south west part of The Netherlands know, that its autumnal - the regular visitors of the Porgy en Bess jazz club in Terneuzen know that they can expect another great Rein De Graaff concert in their venue.
Charles McPherson with the rhythm section of the Rein De Graaff Trio ( f.l.t.r.: Charles McPherson - Marius Beets and Eric Ineke) ( Porgy en Bess - November 2009 ) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

As long as I remember, Rein De Graaff and his trio, featuring Eric Ineke on drums since the early 1970s and Marius Beets, who is the regular bass player for 10 years, perform during this period in this cozy, more then 50 years old, venue. The Rein De Graaff trio accompanies, mostly US jazz musicians, on tours along Dutch and Belgian venues: Last year Rein introduced Pete Christlieb to Terneuzen, together with the Dutch veteran Ferdinand Povel both on tenors and two years ago everybody who joined the 4 November concert will remember the unforgettable performance by alto player Frank Morgan, one of his last; Frank Morgan passed away December 2007. This year Rein introduced us to alto saxophone player Charlie McPherson. Charles McPherson ( Porgy en Bess - November 2009) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Charles McPherson, born in Joplin, Missouri - July 1939, moved to New York in 1959 where he joined the groups of Charles Mingus. He toured and performed with Mingus for more then 10 years ( eleven years .... a great time: Charles corrected me.). Charles Mingus, as we know, was not the most easy man to live with, but Charles McPherson was in high favor with him. One day, when Charles Mingus wanted to play with his group at a benefit concert for his friend Kenneth Patchen, who was paralyzed and needed medical aid, he couldn't offer the members of his band a fee. "Then after the set he started doling out five dollar bills: "This ( = Kenneth Patchen - the man) is my friend, but let me give you a little carfare or beer money". He was touched they'd done it. He was more touched when McPherson told him to put his five back in the kitty. His eyes actually watered. From then on, McPherson could be late, but he never got yelled at. ( from Myself When I Am Real - the life and music of Charles Mingus - Gene Santoro).
Charles McPherson's first recording was on Candid ( October 1960) with Charles Mingus,
Eric Dolphy, Ted Curson, Lonny Hillyer, Danny Richmond, Booker Ervin and the Dutch piano player Nico Bunink, who played during the 1960s in The States.
Rein De Graaff ( Porgy en Bess - November 2009) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
A lot of people don't realize that Charles McPherson recorded some great music for the motion picture Bird (not to be mixed up with the film Birds by Alfred Hitchcock), produced by Clint Eastwood, in which Forest Whitaker plays the role of Charlie Parker. The music in the film is played by great names like Monty Alexander, Ron Carter, Jon Faddis and Ray Brown. As the music from Charlie Parker is recorded in mono it had to be re-recorded and in some of the tunes, like Ko Ko, Now's The Time and Ornithology Charles McPherson plays beside "Charlie Parker". A great film you should have seen!!

Charles McPherson ( Porgy en Bess - November 2009) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
The first set started with the less known Charlie Parker composition Chi Chi and, although Rein warned the audience for the high content of Charlie Parker compositions, the concert contained standards like But Beautiful, You Stepped Out of a Dream and Gone with the Wind. Especially the waltz Lover, once recorded by Charlie Parker and Strings, impressed.
Marius Beets ( Porgy en Bess - November 2009) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
After the break the musicians continued as expected with more bebopish tunes, like One of Those Things; the Thelonious Monk composition Blue Monk, in which Charles seemed to miss some parts of the theme; I Hear a Rhapsody and some Charlie Parker compositions played in high tempo.
Eric Ineke ( Porgy en Bess - November 2009) (photo courtesy Hans Koert)
The concert was finished with another killer diller - not Just One of Those Things, which Charles suggested to play in a supersonic high speed, but one of fast played other Parker compositions; a gimmick often used in bebop and the audience liked it and could look back at a successful, but rather predictable concert, played by a 70 years old alto saxophonist, who knows, although he seemed to have troubles with the buttons of his sax (he was so lucky to find a 50 euro bill into his pocket), how to play the saxophone in a way Bird would have appreciated.

Marius Beets ( Porgy en Bess - November 2009) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
For Rein De Graaff and his Trio it was not the first tour with Charles McPherson. The trio performed with McPherson in 1987-1988 together with Jarmo Hoogendijk; two years later with Pete King and our own Bird
Piet Noordijk and ten years later with Art Farmer in a series concerts labelled as Stablemates. Early 1999 they recorded some great duets, featuring both Charles McPherson and Rein de Graaff, released on a Timeless CD titled Duets. ( Timeless CD SJP451).
Porgy en Bess Jazz club ( Terneuzen (The Netherlands))(November 2009) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)
Rein promised to return, next year, on the same date. One of his next projects will be with vibraphone player Dave Pike - I'm looking forward to it - Rein!
Eric Ineke will perform at the Porgy en Bess Jazz Club in Terneuzen with his JazzXpress featuring Deborah Brown (20th of December 2009)
Keep swinging
Hans Koert

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Anonymous The Rep said...

Always great to hear about Charles McPherson.


The Rep ( Ipswich (GB))
( Organissimo Jazz forum)

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Charles McPherson said...

Hello Hans
Thanks very much for sending. Great photos.
Hope to see you again in Holland next time.

Charles McPherson

7:59 PM  

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