Charles McPherson Quotes
I bought a tenor but I haven't dedicated the time to it, plus I haven't found a mouthpiece that I like as of yet. I've been doing a lot of mouthpiece searching for the alto in the last few years and now that that's cooled out maybe I can begin the search for a tenor mouthpiece. After doing it for the alto, I just haven't felt like looking for any more mouthpieces. You play both, right?
I met the pianist Barry Harris when I was about fifteen. He would show me changes, which I had no idea existed. I knew about scales, but I didn't think about chords. I was fortunate in that he lived right around the corner so I'd be at his house almost every day and he showed me about playing melodies over chords. After about three years, I could play some gigs. I worked with drummer Roy Brooks and other guys my age at that time, like trumpeter Lonnie Hillyer. Some of the older guys were Paul Chambers, Doug Watkins and Louis Hayes
When I first started playing, I knew about Johnny Hodges, and then I was turned on to Bird. Barry Harris loved Charlie Parker. So, I would take the records home and study some of his licks but I would never learn a whole solo. He was a real influence for a while, but as I got older, other influences crept in; Lester Young, Art Tatum and Bud Powell. Lester Young quite a bit, actually. Then I started buying classical records. In fact, I probably own more classical albums than jazz. So if I wasn't listening to the jazz masters, I might listen to Stravinsky or Honneger. Now I just try to be a "sponge" and just take things from everywhere. I used to be more strict and narrow about what I'd listen to, but I'm not like that at all now. Another thing. A lot of alto players got "saddled" with comparisons to Charlie Parker because they're playing the same instrument. That's why a lot of alto players switched to tenor.
Category: Music Quotes