Monday, April 03, 2006

Rest In Peace, Jackie

While working on this evening's blog post--which is, oddly enough, also about a saxophonist--I read that Jackie McLean had died. He's sort of an obscure figure, known only to jazz enthusiasts, but he doesn't deserve to be. In a perfect world, he would be remembered right up there with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk and all the rest of the household-name legends of the music. As soon as he reached his "mature phase", his played walked a very fine line with grace and undeniable beauty. He was able to reconcile Charlie Parker-derived bop with the emerging, avant-garde "free" style. He incorporated what was best about both--the excitement and energy of the former with the explorative drive and unpredictability of the latter--and made many, many albums of unique and wonderful music. If you're interested, I recommend that you pick up Destination...Out!, Let Freedom Ring, and/or A Fickle Sonance. If you have any love for jazz at all, you won't be sorry.