Journey – Charles McPherson
This medium-up song has a stop-time A section and a rhythmic Latin groove in the modal bridge. The melody has an angular quality, largely based on fourths.
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- Recording: Charles McPherson - The Journey
- Recorded on: April 21, 2014
- Label: Capri (74136-2)
- Concert Key: E-flat minor
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (medium up)
- Alto Sax - Charles McPherson
- Tenor Sax - Keith Oxman
- Piano - Chip Stephens
- Bass - Ken Walker
- Drums - Todd Reid
This song has an angular sound based on fourths, both in the interval structure of the melody and the tonic chord, E♭m11. The opening melody phrase rises to A♭, the fourth of the key; this rising phrase is developed and then contrasted by the last phrase of the A section which descends in fourths.
The form of the piece is AABBA (each section is eight measures long). The first four measures of the A section have rhythm section stop-time figures filling in the long notes of the melody. In the fifth and sixth measures, the rhythm section plays more sustained figures, different between the first two A sections, before going to a 4-feel for two measures. This second half of the A section resolves to the key of A major. The rhythm section plays a two-measure pattern of hits through the bridge, held together with a Latin groove in the drums. The bridge melody repeats a four-measure phrase that falls and rises, outlining the same fourth-based interval structure as the first phrase of the A section. This phrase is repeated for eight measures of D♭7 and then up a half step for eight measures of D7. The C section is similar to A, but with different changes in the second half which descend in half steps.
The solo changes are a simplified version of the head, played with a 4-feel throughout without going into a Latin groove on the bridge. The coda starts at the seventh measure of C; the last note of the melody is held out for seven measures over a B6 chord, with sustained bass notes, followed by a final D♭maj9(♯11).
born on July 24, 1939
With a career spanning over 60 years, Charles McPherson is a living legend of jazz. His highly expressive playing is firmly rooted in the bebop tradition. He was born in Joplin, Missouri and raised in Detroit, where he studied with Barry Harris . McPherson was part of a generation of talented Detroit musicians including trumpeter Lonnie Hillyer, drummer Louis Hayes and trombonist Kiane Zawadi. Like them, McPherson moved to New York in the late ‘50s. Read more...