Saturday, April 17, 2021

Jackie McLean

Jackie McLean was among the best of the golden age of American jazz, late 1940’s through the late 1960’s. He was also one of those who continued performing and composing beyond that time; in Jackie McLean’s case into the 21st century. 

I read this about him recently: 

“McLean was a heroin addict throughout his early career, and the resulting loss of his New York City cabaret card forced him to undertake a large number of recording dates to earn income in the absence of nightclub performance opportunities. Consequently, he produced an extensive body of recorded work in the 1950s and 1960s.” 

It’s not funny but you look at the lists of him at this site Jackie McLean - Wikipedia and its true: as a leader and as a sideman, he was everywhere, and he performed and wrote for his fellow giants of that time. I mean look at those names. 

Two of my favorites albums: as a sideman on this Charles Mingus work of art Pithecanthropus Erectus (album) - Wikipedia and then as a leader A Fickle Sonance. 

Thankfully, Jackie McLean overcame his addiction and, as mentioned, continued to perform well after the late 1960’s. Here’s a link to a 1986 performance with Mal Waldron’s unit MAL WALDRON & JACKIE McLEAN - YouTube 

And there’s this bootleg (circa 1970?) of his own group Jackie McLean Sextet Live @Music Inn (Roma) Bootleg - YouTube 

I think the titles of two of his albums are a good summary of Jackie McLean: 

Lights Out!  Destination…Out!


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  1. I've added the musical links for Mr. McLean to the others jazz music links from previous posts. You should have a podcast called, StarkImpressions the Jazzy edition.

    The two links for Mr. McLean are a wonderful contrast of pace and style.

    Thanks for posting.

  2. You're welcome. That "Pithecanthropus" album is worth listening to, also.