Richie Cole/Charles McPherson | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Richie Cole/Charles McPherson 

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This third installment of the Jazz Showcase's month-long tribute to Charlie Parker packs the greatest potential wallop, both academically and emotionally. Charles McPherson is often considered the last true disciple of the bebop avatar, capable of so convincing an imitation that he was used to mimic Parker on the sound track of the film Bird. On the other side of the stage is Richie Cole, who has patterned his own style on that of Phil Woods--one of the earliest Parker devotees. McPherson, who has pushed his music beyond bebop, of course remains the more accurate Parkerite--born in 1939 (the year Parker settled in New York), he grew up as a child of bebop--while Cole has steeped himself in bebop legend and lore: his performances succeed in direct relation to his ability to rein his extroversion and find the truth (rather than the rumor) of the music. A notable addition to the proceedings is Stu Katz, who performs in public about twice a year, each time reasserting his place as the city's pre-eminent authentic bebop pianist. Tonight through Sunday, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, Blackstone Hotel, 636 S. Michigan; 427-4300.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Phil Bray, Grace Bell.

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