SKF NOTE: At age 81 Charles McPherson is still creating beautiful music. Jazz first “clicked” for me while I was listening to Charles Mingus‘s band at Newport 1970. Then I listened to everything Mingus — which included a ton of Charles McPherson’s playing.
What McPherson told writer Chris Albertson in 1968 about being a musician rings true. McPherson echoes how he felt then in the modern video above.
Charles McPherson: “If you’re going to be a musician, you must not have any mental blocks. We, as musicians, can’t afford not to hear those who came before us. A layman, on the other hand, can listen to whatever makes him feel good, because he is not as wholly involved as the musician.
“A musician should go as far back in his listening as he possibly can, ignoring all the little segregated categories that the writers and critics like to put music into. A musician’s scope should be wide; he does not have the layman’s privilege to be narrow. That is, if he wants to be great, if he really wants to become an artist.“
Source: Charles McPherson: Ornithologist, by Chris Albertson, Down Beat, May 16, 1968