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Album Review

This session was Rene McLean's debut as a leader, and it found the 28-year-old switching between alto, soprano, tenor, and flute. The son of Jackie McLean, Rene did not yet have a distinctive voice, but he showed much potential for the future. His sextet (with trumpeter Danny Coleman, pianist Hubert Eaves, and guitarist Nathan Page) hints at the innovations of the avant-garde while remaining closer to the style of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. It's a worthwhile if not overly memorable effort.


Born: 16 December 1946 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

The son of altoist Jackie McLean, René studied alto with his father and Sonny Rollins from the age of nine. He played baritone and later alto with Tito Puente for three years in the early '70s and also worked with Sam Rivers, Lionel Hampton, and with his father in the Cosmic Brotherhood. McLean played in the mid-'70s in a quintet with Woody Shaw and Louis Hayes, started touring with Hugh Masekela in 1978, settled in South Africa in 1985, led his own group, and...
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