Jackie McLean – Bluesnik {Blue Note} [xrcd]

Jackie McLean – Bluesnik {Blue Note} [xrcd]

Hard Bop

CD, EAC rip, AccurateRip, FLAC tracks, Full artwork

435 MB.

AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

Bluesnik, Jackie McLean’s seventh session as a leader for Blue Note Records, was one of only two recordings issued by McLean in 1961. With a lineup of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, bassist Doug Watkins, pianist Kenny Drew, and drummer Pete La Roca, McLean laid down a hard blowing session of six tunes based completely on blues motifs.

Many critics — as well as jazz fans — hold to the opinion that Bluesnik may be McLean’s most accessible session for the label. That said, not all of these tunes are blues numbers strictly speaking. They use blues forms, but don’t all fall into the conventional 12-bar structure, and therefore even move hard bop paradigms a bit.

The title track opening the set is a prime example of this given that it quotes the theme in 12-bar but moves through a knotty ten-bar sequence before roaring into a furious but fluid cut time structure that allows for a maximum “stretching” of the changes by Drew. Drew’s “Cool Green,” screws around with the 12-bar in the melody, but given the introductory statements made before each line and in the solo breaks, it too pushes the standard blues architecture.

There are the great moments in blues here that helped to establish McLean as a giant, such as “Drew’s Blues,” and the lovely “Torchin’,” that closes the set. Hubbard’s role here is relatively minor in that he had not yet established himself as a leader and he was still growing into his choppy, taut method of soloing.

The swing factor of the rhythm section is undeniable, especially the interaction between Drew and La Roca. In all, this is a monster session effortlessly performed by a soloist at an early peak with a supporting cast of blazing sidemen. [This is the original LP.]

01. Bluesnick (9:32)
02. Goin’ ‘Way Blues (6:34)
03. Drew’ s Blues (5:53)
04. Cool Green (5:21)
05. Blues Function (7:19)
06. Torchin’ (6:18)
07. Goin’ ‘Way Blues (alternate) (6:42)
08. Torchin’ (alternate) (6:15)

Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
Freddie Hubbard – trumpet
Kenny Drew – piano
Doug Watkins – bass
Pete La Roca – drums

Originally released in 1962 on Blue Note Records as BST-84067
Original album artwork, 1961 – Blue Note Records
Bonus tracks originally released 1989 by Blue Note Records
Recorded January 8, 1961 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder
Cover photo by Francis Wolff, Mosaic Images
Cover design by Reid Miles
Liner notes by Ira Gitler
xrcd24 produced by Joe Harley
Mastered by Alan Yoshida at Ocean Way Mastering, Hollywood, CA
Executive Producer: Robert Bantz
Production Coordinator: Kevin Berg
Art Direction & Design: Scott Warpool

1962, 2010 – Blue Note Records
Blue Note is a registered trademark of Capitol Records, LLC
Distributed by Audio Wave Music
xrcd24 is a trademark of JVC Victor Creative Media Co., Ltd
Manufactured by EMI Music Special Markets, 1750 N Vine Street, Hollywood, California 90028

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