Thu September 7, 2006
Jazz in the Afternoon Thursday to feature Jackie McLean disc
Jackie's Bag recorded 46 years ago this month.
By Chris Cooke
Omaha, Nebraska – Jazz in the Afternoon Thursday takes listeners back 46 years to a historic record date with saxophonist Jackie McLean. Entitled Jackie's Bag, many of the tracks were recorded September 1st, 1960. It was Jackie McLean's debut on the Blue Note record label, which won him wide acclaim. McLean, on alto sax, is joined in the studio by Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Tina Brooks, tenor sax; Kenny Drew, piano; Paul Chambers, bass and Art Taylor, drums. The session captures performances of then-new compositions by the alto saxophonist who was rising to new writing challenges with his three horn section for the record date.
McLean started his career performing and studying with some of the legendary musicians of jazz in the 1940's and 50s. A close friend of Charlie Parker, McLean worked with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and many other luminaries of the era.
He went on to record many remarkable discs on Blue Note records, starting with Jackie's Bag.
In 1959-60, he acted in the off-Broadway play ?The Connection,? about jazz musicians and drug addiction. McLean, a heroin addict during his early career, later went on to lecture on drug addiction research.
McLean was also known for his work as a jazz educator. McLean was founder and artistic director of the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the University of Hartford's Hartt School. He and his wife, actress Dollie McLean, also founded the Artists Collective, a community center and fine arts school in Hartford's inner city primarily serving troubled youth. McLean enjoyed a career renaissance in the late 1980s after increasing his performance and studio work. More recently the saxophonist served as a commentator for Ken Burn's documentary, Jazz.
McLean died earlier this year at the age of 73.
Chris Cooke is the host of Jazz in the Afternoon and Last Call on KIOS-FM.