Imagine listening to the renowned Charles McPherson Quintet at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola with the twinkling lights of New York City as a background! It was an incredible evening of instrumental Jazz with the Charles McPherson Quintet featuring Charles McPherson on alto saxophone, Steve Nelson on vibraphone, Yotam Silberstein on guitar, Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass, and Chuck McPherson on drums. We were fortunate to catch them play on the last evening of a 4-night sold-out gig, and what a performance it was!
The Charles McPherson Quintet: As a bit of background, composer and saxophonist Charles McPherson started playing jazz professionally at the age of 19, played with Charles Mingus from 1960 until 1972, and if his name sounds familiar, among his many credits and kudos he was the featured alto saxophonist in the 1988 Clint Eastwood biographical film "Bird" about the legendary Charlie "Bird" Parker.
Charles's son, the multi-talented drummer, vocalist, and songwriter Chuck McPherson, began his career at age 16, proving that the apple did not fall far from the tree from it comes to talent. Israeli guitarist Yotam Silberstein began playing guitar at age 10, by 21 he had won the Israeli Jazz Player of the Year title, and since 2005 has called New York home. Bassist, composer Kiyoshi Kitagawa moved from his native Japan to New York where he has made his mark on the world of Jazz, and composer and vibraphonist Steve Nelson started playing vibes and piano as a teenager in Pittsburgh before moving to New York where he is a sought after musician.
We had the good fortune to experience the first set of the Charles McPherson Quintet's performance at Dizzy's Coca Cola on Sunday, December 14, 2014, which was their last night of a 4-night sold-out gig, with two set times each night on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The Charles McPherson Quintet
The band opened with the 1929 Cole Porter tune, What Is This Thing Called Love, followed by the Charles McPherson composition entitled, Lonely Little Chimes. By way of an introduction for the next song in the playlist, he proudly stated that he has four children and that he wrote a song for each one of them, and that he wrote Marionette for his youngest daughter. The song Nightfall followed, that began with a gentle, soft intro, and like twilight gradually segueing into darkness, built upon itself to create a romantic, dreamy piece.
Steve Nelson on Vibes and Chales McPherson
Next in the line-up was the 1932 Rodgers and Hammerstein song, Lover with a crashing drum solo intro that kick started this lively, up-tempo piece, which also had some excellent sax scaling, a nice vibes section, and another rollicking drum solo by Chuck McPherson before the band joined back in.
Yotam Silberstein on guitar
Another highlight of the evening was a duet featuring Charles and Yotam Silberstein, with solo moments by the members that showcased the quintet's artistry of making the most of each note written as well as a little improv along the way to create a memorable evening of music. Bravo!
Chales McPherson and Kiyoshi Kitagawa on Bass
Dizzy's Club Coca Cola is part of the 100,000 square foot Jazz at Lincoln Center (www.JALC.org) which opened in 2005 on the fifth floor of The Shops at Columbus Circle, and features three concert and performance spaces, the Rose Theater (1,200 seats), The Appel Room (490 seats), and Dizzy's Club Coca Cola (140 seats). In addition to stunning views at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, they also have a full-service dining menu to complement the delectable Jazz.
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Dizzy's Club Coca Cola has live jazz nightly with set times at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm, and late night sessions at 11:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Visit their website for their performance calendar: www.Jazz.org/Dizzys.
Dizzy's Club Coca Cola
The Shops at Lincoln Center
10 Columbus Circle (Broadway at 60th Street, 5th Floor)
New York, New York 10019
For information on upcoming Charles McPherson Quintet performances, please visit the website: www.CharlesMcPherson.com.
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