This album is one of alto saxophonist Jackie McLean's masterpieces. It is his first full-blown venture into some unknown territory. When McLean signed with Blue Note in 1959, he was basically a "straight-ahead" bebopper of the 2nd generation but the winds of change in Jazz were blowing in the early 60's with the arrival of Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Eric Dolphy et al. Mclean was hearing this and his playing began to open up and move away from the strict rigors of bop. This album called "Let Freedom Ring!" was the real beginning of that search. The ideal and open rhythm section consisted of the wonderful Walter Davis jr. at the piano who anchors McLean with his beautiful chording and sensitivity. Bassist Herbie Lewis and drummer Billy Higgins were both from Los Angeles and were boyhood friends. Higgins had just left Ornette Coleman's band and was the perfect drummer of this set. Jackie McLean with his distinctive sound ("no sugar added") and his hard driving approach and his "take no prisoners" attitude makes the four pieces really happen. Three of McLean's tunes are dedicated to members of his family. This first is the Mingus-like "Melody For Melonae" for his then young daughter. The second is called "Rene" for his son. The third and most interesting is the modal "Omega" for his mother. The ballad of the set is by one of McLean's mentors, pianist Bud Powell and it's called "I'll Keep Loving You". This classic album captures everyone in full flight and was the first of many groundbreaking dates from Mclean and company. "Let Freedom Ring!"
Oliver Nelson · Afro/American Sketches
There's A Yearrnin'
Goin' Up North
Hymn to Freedom
Oscar Peterson · Night Train
Peace Fpr South Africa
Oscar Peterson · Live at The Blue Note
Body and Soul
Charlie Ventura · Live in New York
Prayer For Passive
Charles Mingus · Pre-Bird
Fables of Faubus
Charles Mingus · Mingus Presents Mingus
Charles Mingus · Mingus!!!!
Victor Noriega · 2 Trios
Melody For Melonae
Jackie McLean · Let Freedom Ring
I'll Keep Loving You
Clifford Jordan · Glass Bead Games