JazzTimes

Charles McPherson

I’m kind of a student of ancient history,” alto saxophonist Charles McPherson says. “I’m talking about Sumerian stuff, Mesopotamia, the Middle East: I go way, way back. Our whole notion of divinity, Western or Eastern, is all around that Fertile Crescent. Then it morphed into Egypt, the Indus Valley, the Hebrews, ancient Greece. All of that is connected, and from that same wellspring came Pythagoras and the music of the spheres. When I play music, I’m very much aware that music has a cosmological basis. It matters.”

McPherson, who turned 81 in July, is musing about how Middle Eastern culture and affairs never cease to be relevant. It’s in the news and media virtually every day; we speak in August, the

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