Barry Harris / Charles McPherson Quartet
Barry Harris, piano; Charles McPherson, alto saxophone; Richard Davis,
bass; Donald Bailey, drums, plus special guests
Monday, August 4 | 8 pm | Dinkelspiel Auditorium
Tickets: $32 general | $16 students
By phone: 650.725.ARTS (2787); In Person: Stanford
For more information, go to our Ticketing
“Barry Harris is one of the
world’s most respected jazz piano players and teachers, considered
by many to be the foremost interpreter of the music of Bud Powell,
Tadd Dameron and Thelonious Monk.” – AllAboutJazz
“The craft and sincerity, the
discipline and passion that Charles McPherson brings to the alto saxophone
is a tribute to the beauty of jazz…” – The
Pianist Barry Harris and alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, two undisputed
masters of bop, both started their careers in Detroit. Harris was a cornerstone
of the thriving Detroit scene of the 1950s that included artists like
Tommy Flanagan, Thad Jones, Paul Chambers, and Joe Henderson, and McPherson
was one of his up-and-coming students. In the 1960s they collaborated
frequently in New York, where Harris was among the city’s most
in-demand pianists and McPherson had an ongoing collaboration with Charles
Mingus. Harris is a successor to the traditions of Bud Powell, Thelonious
Monk, and Charlie Parker, and has been one of the major forces in the
evolution of bebop. McPherson’s passionate, expressive playing
combines blazing bop, an adventurous sensibility, and a strong sense
of the blues. Both men embody the finest in mainstream jazz with energetic
swing, daring improvisation, and true feeling, and the chemistry they
have developed during their years of creative association creates a captivating
You Can Never Have Too Much Bebop
Speaker: Michael Burman
7 pm, free with concert ticket
Supported in part by Bruce Powell
Q&A with Barry Harris and Charles McPherson
What is the first recording
you remember hearing as a child?
BH: “Web City” by Bud Powell.
CM: A Nat King Cole recording of “I Love You For Sentimental
Who is your favorite jazz musician under the age of 30?
BH: Luigi & Pasquali Grasso, from Italy.
What job would you have if you weren’t
a jazz musician?
BH: I’d be a math teacher.
What’s the strangest
experience you’ve ever had on the
BH: Once while playing with Wes Montgomery, when I soloed
suddenly I felt all these different presences – like Art Tatum, Charlie
Parker. I remember feeling like I was watching myself play. When
I came off the bandstand, somebody walked by and said I haven’t
heard anything like that since 1947 – it was Slide Hampton (whom
I didn’t know at that time).
What’s your favorite food?
BH: 1) turkey with dressing, collard greens & candied yams; 2)
CM: Chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.
What’s the most exotic place you’ve
traveled to as a musician?
BH: Seoul, Korea
CM: Tunisia, for a night.
last book you’ve read?
BH: The Dictionary.
CM: “Genesis Revisited” by Zecharia Sitchin.
If you could play with any other musician, living or dead (with
whom you have not played), who would it be and why?
BH: Fats Navarro & Don Byas.
CM: Louis Armstrong; he embodies the true spirit of jazz.
What’s your favorite tune?
BH: “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm.”
What’s your favorite thing
about being a Stanford Jazz Workshop faculty member?
BH: 1). At last I have no time conflict & can come. 2). Having
chance to meet some new young people and to give them my ideas
Who is your greatest musical influence?
BH: Charlie Parker & Bud Powell.
CM: Charlie Parker.
What’s your favorite jazz venue?
BH: The Village Vanguard in NYC.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three
recordings with you, what would they be?
BH: 1) Donna Lee 2) Buzzy 3) Chasing the Bird. The recordings
I’m thinking of have Bud Powell accompanying Charlie Parker –
is truly the way to accompany a horn player.
CM: Bartok, “Mandarin Suite,” Charlie Parker, “My
Old Flame” &
Art Tatum, “Humoresque.”
How much do you practice each week?
BH: I practice more on the piano in my head – which I highly
recommend people do more of.
CM: Around 30 hours a week, as much as possible.
What hobbies do you have?
BH: Scrabble, bowling, playing cards.
CM: Reading about ancient civilizations.
When did you become interested in music, and what circumstances
or events led to your becoming a professional musician?
BH: I became interested in music at the age of 4. My mother (a
church pianist), played a song for me and I sat down and learned
it. It was a church song, I think it was in B flat. I’m one of
people who knew what they wanted to do at age 4.
If you were to describe your music as a color, what color
would it be and why?
BH: A beautiful sky blue.
CM: My music is purple.