Lynn’s Grins: A Charles McPherson Alto Sax Solo Transcription

Ready for another saxophone solo transcription? "Lynn's Grins" by alto saxophonist Charles McPherson is one of my favorites. It's a concert C blues (alto key of A) at a medium-fast tempo, and it features McPherson in full cry, showing the listening world that he knows a thing or two about bebop. (Click on the images to enlarge them.)

From his simple opening statement outlining the tonic triad, McPherson plunges headlong into a millrace of ideas, toying at times with outside colors but always staying within the basic framework of the parent key.

There's plenty to pick up on from this solo, and the best way to do so is by getting to work on it. What are you waiting for? Get cracking!

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  1. Hi,
    great to see someone takes this cat.
    I enjoy listening to Ch.McP. for more than 20 years, saw him recently in clubs.
    His sound is as ever fantastic. In the 60s when he played the conn horn, was its a bit smoother, than these days on his MKVI.

    Thankx for transcription, If you have another one, please let me know.
    cu, from Bochum, germany, a bit snowin’ & quite cold.

  2. Wolfgang, thanks for taking the time to write. Charles McPherson is a great player with a distinctive sound on the alto. I didn’t know he used to play a Conn; I’m guessing it was a 6M, which is the model I play–the “Ladyface.” It’s a wonderful horn that really lets you shape your sound instead of shaping it for you. But back to McPherson, I envy you the opportunity you’ve had to catch him in clubs! He’s the real deal, and well worth learning from.

    Not sure when my next transcription will emerge–I’m not a prolific transcriber–but it will probably be a Phil Woods ballad.

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