George Varga began drumming in bands at 12 and writing professionally about music at 15. A Louisiana native who grew up mostly in Germany, he has earned three Pulitzer Prize nominations as the music critic at the San Diego Union-Tribune. In 2002, he created and taught the UC San Diego Extension course, “Jazz in a Post-Ken-Burns World.” Varga’s latest project is Acid Reflux & The Wardrobe Malfunctions, a free-jazz Ashlee Simpson/Janet Jackson tribute band.
On Bird Songs, the challenge facing saxophonist Joe Lovano-and it’s a formidable one-is to tastefully approach Charlie Parker’s iconic repertoire and his impeccably crafted alto … Read More “Joe Lovano Us Five: Bird Songs”
He’s best known as a veteran of Charles Mingus’ band and the man who supplied Charlie Parker’s solos in Clint Eastwood’s Bird. But Charles McPherson had a solid solo career as well. George Varga reports on McPherson’s latest CD, where the altoist revisits Bird-with strings.