Straight, no chaser. Charles McPherson goes old school with The Journey (Capri Records, 2015). Recognized as one of the last authentic practitioners of bebop sax, McPherson would make some of his pioneering brethren proud.

McPherson plays the alto sax. With him are Keith Oxman, tenor sax; Chip Stephens, piano; Ken Walker, bass; and Todd Reid, drums.

The sassy opener, “The Decathexis from Youth (for Cole),” features the duet of McPherson and Oxman in harmonious lead. The song begins in moderate, swing. Then it shifts into high gear as the leader takes off on a spirited jaunt. Composer Stephens stretches out in blues style.

Reid has a brief solo to begin the band’s take on the Rogers and Hart classic, “Spring Is Here.” Music doesn’t get much sunnier than this. McPherson cuts loose, keeping the alto in the middle of its range for the most part, but every now and then grinding to its depths or wailing to its upper register. Stephens and Oxman lick their chops as well. After the leads get their time to shine, Reid is given a little space to work out the kit.

“Manhattan Nocturne” is one of three McPherson originals. Its tranquil tone is of the same mood as Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage,” though the composition is very different. Bass and drum play are more subtle than on the other songs. At 10 minutes, it’s by far the longest track in the set. But it doesn’t seem long as there’s always a sense of moving forward. The title indicates a snapshot of downtown New York City at night. However, the mood has an air of elegance and romance, ripe for a couple slow dancing or taking a walk through the park.

McPherson has had associations with some jazz heavyweights, including Charles Mingus, Pat Martino and Art Farmer. He provided alto statements to Bird, Clint Eastwood’s movie about Charlie Parker, whose “Au Privave” is among the McPherson arrangements on The Journey.