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McLean's Scene

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Album Review

Altoist Jackie McLean tends to downgrade his Prestige recordings due to the low pay, the little prior preparation and the jam session feel of the music. Although all of the above is true, the music (while not on a par with his Blue Notes of the 1960s) is still pretty worthy, particularly when compared to the output of his contemporaries. McLean never really copied Charlie Parker and was one of the first in his generation to develop his own sound. Three of the six selections on this CD reissue (a pair of standards and a blues) feature McLean with trumpeter Bill Hardman, pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor. The remainder of the set is from a marathon quartet set with pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Arthur Phipps and drummer Taylor that would result in material that was used as part of five separate albums. McLean is in lyrical form on "Our Love Is Here to Stay" and "Old Folks" while playing with great intensity on his accurately-titled original "Outburst."


Born: May 17, 1932 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Jackie McLean has long had his own sound, played slightly sharp and with great intensity; he is recognizable within two notes. McLean was one of the few bop-oriented players of the early '50s who explored free jazz in the '60s, widening his emotional range and drawing from the new music qualities that fit his musical personality. The son of guitarist John McLean (who played guitar with Tiny Bradshaw), Jackie started on alto when he was 15. As a teenager he was friends with such neighbors as Bud...
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