This incredible solo comes from an album by Pony Poindexter titled Pony’s Express.
It’s hard to understand why this date isn’t better known, considering the front line alone is Pony and Phil Woods on alto’s, Dexter on tenor and Pepper on baritone.
Pepper follows Dexters typically lyrical laid back solo with a blistering solo which demonstrates both his harmonic prowess and absolute mastery of the saxophone.  In bars 6, 7, 8 of each A section he superimposes descending 2-5’s back to the tonic, creating further harmonic interest.

This music was part of Duke Pearson’s ‘Dedication’ date from 1961.  It featured Pepper, Freddie Hubbard, Willie Wilson – trombone, Thomas Howard – bass, Lex Humphries – drums and of course Duke Pearson on piano. Lex is a contrafact on Tadd Dameron’s Tadd’s Delight.

Two takes of the tune were recorded, although only the first take is on this album.  I’ll be adding the second transcription soon.



The legendary alto saxophonist Charles McPherson is playing the Pizza Express in Dean Street, London in February and if his previous visits to the venue are anything to go by,  Charles will undoubtedly demonstrate that bebop is not only far from dead as a jazz style, much ignored by the media but is positively thriving in his hands.

He is one of the very few Charlie Parker influenced saxophonists to not only absorb his harmonic innovatons but just as importantly, his unique rhythmic concept.

Ethan Iverson conducted a brilliantly detailed and revealing interview on his blog with Charles recently. Charles reveals and explains his take on the rhythmic concept which he adheres to.

If you haven’t heard him in the flesh, do yourself a favour and catch him next month, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.