Illusions-in-Blue-CD-Charles-McPhersonIllusions In Blue 1990–Recorded live in a nightclub in La Jolla California. A limited amount of this re-issue is now available through Chazz Jazz.

‘Hearing Charles McPherson for the first time was like discovering treasure

’ Donnie Norton, 2015 – author of the doctoral dissertation “The Jazz Saxophone Style of Charles McPherson: An Analysis through Biographical Examination and Solo Transcription.”

“Illusions in Blue features McPherson’s virtuosity at its most inspiring. Not only is this a showcase for McPherson’s saxophone playing and improvisational brilliance, it is a testament to his immense skill as a composer”. (read the full liner notes here)
Sample the title track of “Illusions in Blue”
Purchase the Album


CSUSMCalifornia State University San Marcos awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, to Charles McPherson during its commencement ceremonies on May 16, 2015. See photos, the diploma, the citation, and the University’s press release >>


“McPherson has not merely remained true to his bop origins but has expanded on them, both as improvising soloist and as composer. . . .his sound bold and full, he brought his own values to three of his original pieces: “Horizons,” with its shifting moods; “Illusions in Blue,” a sort of 21st Century variation on the blues with archly ingenious piano chording and the rich, almost lushly evocative “A Tear and a Smile.” Having thus displayed his dual talents as composer/player, McPherson then felt free to tear into “Cherokee” at a breakneck pace.”
Leonard Feather-Los Angeles Times


Charles McPherson and Brian Pace at the Jazz Standard in New York
Charles McPherson and Brian Pace at the Jazz Standard in New York

Charles McPherson interview at the Jazz Standard, NYC with Brian Pace. October 2015

“Let the Doctor play his horn” shows clips from the Jazz Standard performance in New York, and features a great interview with Brian Pace of the “Pace Report”. Brian and Charles discuss the history and some of the great musical contributors to jazz.


Photo Credit Nick Ruechel
Photo Credit: Nick Ruechel

Charles McPherson was born in Joplin, Missouri and grew up in Detroit . He studied with the renowned pianist Barry Harris and started playing jazz professionally at age 19. He moved from Detroit to New York in 1959 and performed with Charles Mingus from ’60 to ’72, also collaborating frequently with Harris, Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet), and George Coleman (tenor sax). Read more about Charles >>


“The Journey” Album

The Journey

Album Charts The Remarkable Musical Voyage Of Saxophone Legend Charles McPherson

Album released by Capri Records on CD February 17, 2015!

DownBeat MagazineEditor’s Pick March 2015

McPherson has put out a prodigious album
one listen is all it takes to know that this is at the way you’re supposed to play” – Brian Zimmerman, DownBeat Magazine

“Bebop, sharp and driving.” – Nate Chinen, The New York Times

Here’s a sample of “The Journey” track:

And a sample of  the “I Should Care” track:

Read the 2-17-15 Press Release

Read the Album Reviews

Purchase the Album

“Sweet Synergy Suite” a Jazz/Afro-Cuban Ballet


Click for touring information and more info about the San Diego premier.

Original music composed by Charles McPherson

Choreography by Javier Velasco
Featuring members of the San Diego Ballet

Made possible by a generous grant from the San Diego Foundation’s ‘Creative Catalyst Fund’ 2013

“Nightfall” a composition from “Sweet Synergy Suite”
Tom Harrell trumpet, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola / Jazz at Lincoln Center