Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jackie McLean - Destination...Out! (1963, Blue Note)

This is yet another incredible Blue Note date for Jackie McLean with the brilliant trombonist Grachan Moncur, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Larry Ridley on bass and vereran drummer Roy Haynes. The "chamber jazz" concept that he and Eric Dolphy had been shooting for at the time is exemplified here. They meshed this chamber jazz with traditional blues, the groove of hard bop and the avant-garde.

A crucial element on this recording is Moncur's writing. His dark and sparse modal compositions are still fascinating half a century later. Three of these four cuts are his. He is truly the muse and shining star here. Its as if McLean is more relaxed with him around. The solos are mellower and not as antsy or piercing as the previous two records.

Also unusual at the time was the way this record started with a ballad and sprang into avant-garde territory on the first side, then eased back into traditional solo-based jazz on the second side. Overall, this is a beautiful and inspiring must have classic.

Get It Here

Or: Destination Out - Jackie McLean

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