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October 10, 2008

"Let Freedom Ring" - Jackie McLean

Jackie McLean's 1960s Blue Note albums are never fail high energy performances and well entertaining. I remember reading in Blue Note Records: The Biography that he struggled and was self-critical during his mid hard bop period with finding a comfortable sound. It wasn't until Ornette Coleman was on the scene allowing McLean to develop his style. In this LP, and others like Destination Out! (1963) and New and Old Gospel (1968, which features Coleman solely on trumpet), you can really here the influence in his horn. The band is swinging, especially Billy Higgins on drums. There's the classic hard bop sound, but McLean's playing dips further into uncharted territory with squeaks, grunts, and more free playing than his other hard bop contemporaries.
1962 - Blue Note.
Jackie McLean - Alto Saxophone; Walter Davis, Jr. -Piano; Herbie Lewis - Bass; Billy Higgins - Drums.

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