Charles McPherson was born in Joplin and raised in Detroit. He arrived in the New York jazz scene in 1960 and soon made a name for himself with bassist Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop. McPherson has recorded as guest artist with Charlie Mingus, Barry Harris, Art Farmer, Kenny Drew, Toshiko Akiyoshi, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. He has recorded as leader on Prestige, Fantasy, Mainstream, Discovery, Xanadu, and most recently Arabesque. His most recent recording is the highly acclaimed “Manhattan Nocturne”. Charles was also the featured alto saxophonist in the Clint Eastwood film “Bird,” a biography about Charlie Parker.
McPherson remains a strong, viable force on the jazz scene today. He is at the height of his powers. His playing combines passionate feeling with intricate patterns of improvisation. Throughout his four decades of being an integral performer of the music, Charles has not merely remained true to his BOP origins, but has expanded on them. Stanley Crouch says in his New York Times article on Charles. “He is a singular voice who has never sacrificed the fluidity of his melody making, and is held in high esteem by musicians both long seasoned and young.”