The Jazz Show Episode February 15, 2010

Broadcast on 15-Feb-2010

9:00pm - 12:00am

This album which was recorded for a small independent label on October 21,1955 was alto saxophonist Jackie McLean's first under his own name. The label was "Ad-Lib Records" and it was the only album ever issued on that label. A pristine copy of the original LP commands several thousands of dollars on the collector's market. It was re-issued several times on LP on Jubilee, Roulette, Josie and Trip and can be found on CD on the Spanish "Fresh Sounds" label.

Jackie McLean was in 1955 one of the first post-Parker alto saxophonists to establish his own voice. He took the raw blues tinged side of Parker and turned it into his own distinctive style. Mclean's sound was all his from the beginning and his angular phrasing. violent blue notes distinguished him from others. As he grew his reliance on Parker-based phrases grew less apparent. He described his sound as having "no artificial sweetening".His intonation and his frequently violent note emphasis raised some hackles with the critics but Jackie chased his own musical vision. It's evident from the mature statement on this recording that McLean was ready for the big leagues. McLean picked his sidemen well for this date: trumpeter Donald Byrd, fresh from Detroit was long an associate of Mclean's on record dates and gigs and pianist Mal Waldron was at this time Jackie's favorite pianist. Waldron was a New Yorker like Jackie and they had played together for a long time and it was Mal that talked Charles Mingus into letting Jackie join the Mingus Jazz Workshop in late 1955. Doug Watkins on bass was a recent arrival in New York via Detroit and he was playing with the Jazz Messengers at the time. Ronald Tucker was one of the many fine drummers around new York at the time and this happens to be his only recorded appearance. He acquits himself very well and swings hard and has good taste. Two good standards feature the group sounding very cohesive. One ballad, featuring Mr. McLean is "Lover Man"....a tip of the hat to Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, who both made the definitive versions of that tune. A slow blues called "Blue Doll" much like the mood of "Parker's Mood". McLean's first recording of his composition dedicated to his newborn daughter called "Little Melonae" and a lyrical original by pianist Mal Waldron called "Mood Malody". A fine debut by one of the most original voices of the alto saxophone....Mr. John Lenwood (Jackie) McLean (1931-2006).

Track Listing:

Slipped Again
Thad Jones · Volume #3
Ill Wind
I'll Never Smile Again
Dave Brubeck · Brubeck at Wiltshire-
All The Things You Are
Little Melonae
Miles Davis & John · Rare Items
Duke of York
Jodi Proznick · Foundations
Back At The Sugar
Ugetsu · Live at The Cellar
Study #1
Chris Gestrin · The Melody That Is
King of the Hill
Jim Rotondi · Jim's Bop
It's You Or No One
Jackie McLean · New Traditions
Blue Doll
Little Melonae
The Way You Look
Lover Man
Mood Malody.