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Monday, February 20, 2012

Tonight in Music: Afrika Bambaataa, the Fresh and Onlys, Charles McPherson

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

(Salmon Street Studios, 109 SE Salmon) Hiphop has gone through many mutations in its short life, but Afrika Bambaataa's influence has always remained strong. The Oregon chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation and a host of DJs and dancers join the Godfather of Hiphop Culture for a night of beat-backed dance. BOBBY ROBERTS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Presenting a fresh spin on '60s-style garage pop, the Fresh & Onlys combine the Beach Boys, Dick Dale (and maybe a touch of HÜsker DÜ) to bang out infectiously fun San Fran jams. Rounding out the bill is the head-bouncing garage of Chicago's Disappears—truly a Midwestern treasure. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

(Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th) Saxophonist Charles McPherson is probably most famous for having worked with two of the towering geniuses of jazz, Charlie Parker and Charles Mingus. While the three never got around to forming their long-promised supertrio Charl3 (sometimes referred to by Parker as "Charlies & Angels," and by Mingus as "Charleses in Charges"—the three frequently "bickered up a storm" over possible band names), to judge McPherson solely on the basis of his impressive collaborations is to do him a disservice. Having fronted 20 albums—including 1965's great Con Alma! and 1966's excellent The Quintet Live!—the figure who emerges from McPherson's recordings is one driven by precision and craft. On first listen, McPherson's music seems solid but unremarkable—but as his albums open up, McPherson's skill and confidence sneakily, powerfully reveal themselves. This is the sort of subtle jazz that seems good, but only because it doesn't make a big deal out of the fact it's great. ERIK HENRIKSEN Also, read our article on the Portland Jazz Festival.


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