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  Наименование CD :
   Jacknife



Год издания : 1966

Компания звукозаписи : Blue Note

Музыкальный стиль : Hard Bop

Время звучания : 41:41

Код CD : 7243 5 40535 2 8

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Jazz (Saxophone - Bop)      

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on September 24, 1965

Originally issued on Blue Note BN-LA457

All Music Guide

========= from the cover ==========

Three fathers figure in Jackie McLean's early years and his eventual emergence as an important jazz artist. Although his father, John McLean Sr, died in 1939 when Jackie was seven, he had been a guitarist with Tiny Bradshaw's orchestra and therein was an implicit musical link.

Next was his godfather, Norman Cobbs, who played in the band at Adam Clayton Powell's Abyssinian Baptist Church. Cobbs took Jackie with him every Sunday and young Jackie sat right with the band. But it was when Cobbs took him to the Apollo Theater to hear Charlie Barnet that Jackie, inspired by all the saxophones Barnet blew, asked his godfather to let him try one of Cobb's saxophones. He began experimenting with a straight soprano but put it down because, "...it wasn't curved and it wasn't gold. I wanted a real saxophone."

Six months later, when he was 15, Jackie's mother bought him an alto and, after lessons with Foots Thomas, Cecil Scott and Joe Napoleon, he decided to go for himself. Now it was Jackie's stepfather, Jimmy Briggs, a record store proprietor, who played sides for him to let him know how an alto should sound. But Jackie liked the tenors Lester Young and Ben Webster - until he heard Charlie Parker. "There was no thought after that about how I wanted to play," he once told me.

There were other influences besides Bird, however. Sonny Rollins and Andy Kirk Jr. were the slightly older local lights who lived nearby in Harlem. Kirk gave him lessons on an informal basis and Rollins, in switching from alto to tenor, "really came out and upset our neighborhood." Another invaluable neighbor was Bud Powell, whom McLean met through Bud's younger brother, Richie. Bud taught Jackie chords and "time" by playing with him at the Powell apartment.

Another strong influence on McLean was the work of Dexter Gordon. With "teachers" like these it was no surprise that a shy, chubby, 17-year-old was able to sit in with Powell at Birdland in 1949 and, although nervous, sustain a convincing solo on "A Night In Tunisia." Even then, the intaglio of a personal style was audible: a passionate, burning, haunting sound with that urban cry, a mixture of affirmative energy and melancholy.

When Powell's recommendation made it possible for McLean to join Miles Davis's group in 1951, his professional career was officially launched and from there he went on to build his name and nurture his talent with the combos of Paul Bley, George Wallington, Charles Mingus and Art Blakey. In the mid-50s, he also began to record with his own units and, by 1958, formed his own working group.

A major achievement was his playing and acting in the off-Broadway experimental drama The Connection, with which he later went to London and eventually did it on film. It was during the run of The Connection in New York that he began to record for Blue Note. His albums demonstrated a natural evolution as the general mainstream within the larger framework of jazz constantly changed.

An experience with Mingus in the '50s prepared him to embrace the innovations that were to come in the late '50s and the early '60s. He turned to Mingus one night, as the bassist was teaching him a new tune right on the bandstand, and said, "What are the chord changes?"

Mingus replied, "There are no chord changes."

"Well what key am I in?"

"You're not in any key."

This left McLean "hung-up," as they say. "But when I got out there and played," said Jackie, "I felt something different."

McLean also was impressed by the modal pieces inaugurated by Miles Davis. He called them "a stepping stone to freedom," adding "If you ever consider that with every scale, every mode, you can build from every note, this gives you a lot of leeway. Scales begin to become more like sounds to play with, more than chord structures..." It is obvious that he was open for the new playing attitudes that followed the individual contributions of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane.

At a time when every new shriek and squawk to emanate from any horn was considered a momentous happening by some supposedly reputable critics, Phyl Garland, in her notes to Jackie's Right Now, said it so well when she wrote: "Receptive to the best in all things, McLean has steered a clear course through a rugged sea bounded on one side by those so constricted by tradition that they dare not challenge any icon and, on the other hand, by the inchoate gropers who wish to soar without having learned to fly, seeking to substitute mere sound for substance. In an agitated age when so many fear to reject any manifestation of human expression (regardless of how tasteless), due to a personal fear of being thought 'out of it' or 'left behind,' McLean has never forgotten that a message, no matter how urgent, can not be comprehended if it cannot be communicated."

Jackie has continued to communicate right through the mid-'70s; as a teacher in Harlem and Connecticut, and a player here and in Europe.

This date is powered by the full piano of Larry Willis; the big-toned bass of Larry Ridley; and the explosive drums of Jack DeJohnette. These three provide a variety of background figures that urge the soloists to hot, soaring statements no matter what the tempo.

Willis, originally a voice major at New York's High School of Music and Art, is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music who also studied privately with pianist John Mehegan. Originally inspired by Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, he rapidly progressed to an individual style. In addition to playing with McLean, he led his own trio at the Playboy club in New York and worked with the groups of Hugh Masekela, Kai Winding and Stan Getz in the 1960s. In the '70s he has been heard with Cannonball Adderley, Earl May and as his accompanist to singers Esther Marrow and Gloria Lynne.

Ridley, who grew up in Indianapolis and played there with Freddie Hubbard, James Spaulding and the Montgomery brothers, studied at Indiana University, the Lenox School of Jazz in Massachusetts and privately with Michael Krasnapolsky. He established himself in the 1960s with a variety of groups including Randy Weston, Roy Haynes, Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins, Art Farmer, Jim Hall arid Horace Silver, as well as McLean. Later, he worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and McCoy Tyner. An original member of the New York Bass Choir, he has also been active with the New York Jazz Repertory Company and has toured with George Wein's Newport All Stars since 1968. A thorough professional, whose lines are strong and sure and solos highly intelligent, Ridley is the chairman of the music department of Livingston College in New Jersey and has served as artist-in-residence at many colleges around the United States from Utah to Grambling.

DeJohnette studied classical piano for ten years in his native Chicago. It wasn't until high school that he took up drums, and that was after a brief stint as a bassist. In Chicago he worked with a wide spectrum of musicians from T-Bone Walker to Roscoe Mitchell. He moved to New York in the mid-'60s and played with organist John Patton before associating with McLean. He came to prominence in his two years with Charles Lloyd's quartet and then compiled an impressive list of credits with Coltrane, Monk, Hubbard, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and Stan Getz. After two significant years with Miles Davis, he formed his own group, Compost, and since has led a succession of different groups. Truly a contemporary percussionist, he plays all over his set, but, at the same time, is always listening to what his fellows are doing. His accompaniment is complementary in the most uplifting sense. In the 1 970s he blossomed as a composer, too. Here he is represented by one composition.

The two trumpeters in this set are captured at contrasting stages of each man's career. Lee Morgan was a prodigy who, by the time he was 15, was playing dances with his own group in Philadelphia. At the age of 1 8, in 1956, he joined Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra and was prominently featured during the next two years with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and more finely honed his evidently abundant talent. He was with Blakey again in 1964-65 but had already launched his career as a recording leader for Blue Note. After leaving Blakey for the second time he worked with his own combos. He picked up the mantle dropped when the great Clifford Brown died in 1956 and wore it well as one of the leading young trumpet players to carry on in the Gillespie-Navarro-Brown tradition. In 1972 he was killed in a tragic shooting at Slug's in New York. This recording captures him as his assured, crackling, bold and brassy best.

Charles Tolliver was on the way up on this date. From Jacksonville, Florida, he studied at the Hartnett Studios in New York but learned mostly by teaching himself. After three years at Howard University, where he majored in pharmacy, he went back to New York and music. He worked with McLean at Slug's and the Coronet and began to emerge as another of the young, hard-swinging and thinking players to come in the wake of Clifford Brown, in 1 966 he ventured to California where he became a member of Gerald Wilson's big band before returning and joining Max Roach with whom he played for two years, further establishing himself in the jazz firmament. Since 1969, he has led his own group, Music Inc., touring on a worldwide basis. To say he has matured greatly since these sides is an understatement but, perhaps inspired by Morgan's presence, he took a large step forward they day he made the recordings we hear here.

The trumpeters take turns in the spotlight. Tolliver is heard on his own compositions, "On The Nile" and "Jacknife," Morgan is featured on DeJohnette's Climax and McLean's "Blue Fable." Both solo on Morgan's "Soft Blue" with the composer taking the first one.

The stately Middle Eastern theme of "On The Nile" moves like one of Cleopatra's opulent barges did centuries ago on that historic river. The rhythm section provides the locomotion with an insinuating vamp figure. McLean shows a Coltrane orientation here but his own emotional power is strongly present. Tolliver's strength indicates his then-growing maturity and Willis is very convincing as he constructs solid blocks of music rather than flipping through facile runs. Ridley effectively uses the main rhythmic motif as a point of departure for his solo before the barge fades slowly out of sight beyond a bend in the river.

"Climax" quickly imparts the feeling of motion, of thrust. This drummer's piece is, as might be expected, highly rhythmic. It has an ominous air, riders borne by the flying hooves of their steeds. McLean plays with searing heat, his horn brimming with rocket fuel. Then Morgan, the young elder statesman, executes a staccato, high-register solo of great excitement. Willis lives up to the piece's title, bringing his outing to several peaks, and composer DeJohnette's feet underline his hands in a short but telling stint. The reprise of the theme can be truly termed a ride-out.

Ridley's bass line interweaves with Morgan's simple theme on "Soft Blue" as Willis rumbles underneath. The melody is in a "Soft Winds" kind of groove, but when the solos commence, things become a bit more vigorous. Lee, in full command, is first, followed by Jackie, singing clean and clear; and Charles, blue and mournful. Larry combines the Latin and blue feelings inherent in the song, finishing with some rhythmic chords that lead back to the theme.

"Jacknife" is a fast, sharp, cutting, minor-key theme. McLean is at his most incisive, burning up the pads of his horn, launching pads for an interstellar flight. Tolliver's highly charged outing, full of the urgency of the jet age, is punctuated by bursts of staccato notes. Willis integrates some "hi-flying" single lines into a two-fisted attack.

"Blue Fable" is a loping, melancholy melody with several changes of pace. McLean makes a lovely, unhurried, plaintive statement with many, long, sweeping phrases. Morgan is calm and reflective when he begins but turns up the temperature as he proceeds. Willis's short but bright solo runs us back into the line which comes to an abrupt halt.

McLean once described "freedom in jazz" as "new grazing grounds for all the cattle that want to go out and eat some new grass. All those who want to keep picking over the same grass, let them stay there. But those who want to move out into new grazing grounds, it's here. If they want to, if they feel like it."

It is precisely that Jackie McLean knew well the earth of the old pastures which has kept his playing fresh. It contains the milk of musical Tightness.

- Ira Gitler (1975 original liner notes)


  Соисполнители :

Charles Tolliver (Trumpet)
Don Moore (Bass)
Jack DeJohnette (Drums)
Larry Ridley (Bass)
Larry Willis (Piano)
Lee Morgan (Trumpet)


№ п/п

Наименование трека

Текст

Длительность

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   1 On The Nile         0:12:35 Tolliver
   2 Climax         0:09:21 Dejohnette
   3 Soft Blue         0:07:31 Morgan
   4 Jackknife         0:06:17 Tolliver
   5 Blue Fable         0:05:57 McLean

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