Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Charlie Parker, the alto saxophonist who helped forge an unprecedented, technically and esthetically complex style of jazz in the 1940s, was celebrated in high and ardent fashion Sunday night in a concert at the Amithsonian's Natural History Museum.
The fervent performanced by alto saxophonist Charles McPherson's quintet, feathering pianist Barry harris, came one day after the 22nd anniversary fo Parker's death.
Long a disciple of Parker, McPherson delivered a performance that captured the essence of his teacher's musical approach: abundant use of the blues spirit, direct emotion, and rich improvisations on popular melodies.
The quintet he led explored a broad range of compositions, mostly by Parker. The group was most effective when playing Parker's buoyant pieces such as "Bird Feathters" or "Scrapple from the Apple." McPherson was particularly inventive in the latter when he and drummer Leroy Williams served up a driving duet presentation.
The most stirring music of the evening came from pianist Harris, who like his mentor, the late Bud Powell, performs in a rhythmically and melodically crisp style. His solos were marked by sweeping, circuitous melodic lines and dense, sumptuous harmonies.
Also interesting was the playing of young trumpeter Chris Albert, whose style was lyrical and hot, much in the manner of the late Fats Navarro.