Quadrangle 1988

Jackie McLean

The highly individual altoist digs into one of his originals

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Jackie McLean (1931-2006) was one of the most original alto-saxophonists to emerge during the 1950s.

His sharp tone gave every note he played a strong intensity and, while Charlie Parker was an early influence on his choice of notes, by the mid-1950s he had his own approach to playing hard bop.

In the 1960s on his Blue Note albums, McLean engaged in freer explorations on which his intense sound was a perfect fit.

A very influential educator at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford, McLean was an inspiration to many younger musicians while he continued his performance career.

Here is Jackie McLean, at a Japanese jazz festival in 1988, playing his “Quadrangle” with a group consisting of trumpeter Wallace Roney, pianist Horace Parlan (who McLean had played with in the 1950s when they were both with Charles Mingus), bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Kenny Washington; this quintet otherwise never recorded.

-Scott Yanow


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