Jackie McLean:May 1932-April 2006


John Lenwood McLean is known better as simply Jackie. A native New Yorker, Jackie McLean was left a musical heritage by his father, John Sr., who played guitar with Tiny Bradshaw. He died in 1939. The incentive to further the heritage was given him by his mother when she bought him his first saxophone. Jackie grew up in Harlem with bop already flowering around him. He played in a neighborhood band that included Sonny Rollins and Andy Kirk Jr. on saxophones and Kenny Drew on piano. After school hours he would jam and study with Bud Powell and although he names Charlie Parker, Rollins and Kirk as his favorite saxophonists, Jackie states that “Bud Powell is my inspiration.” In those afternoon sessions Bud taught him chord changes and imparted the important lesson of “time.” It was in 1951 that Jackie made his first recordings. These can be heard on Miles Davis’s Dig. Actually it wasn’t until 1955 that Jackie started playing jobs that brought his name before the public. With Paul Bley’s quartet and George Wallington’s quintet he started to fulfill the promise he had shown when Bud Powell unveiled him one night at Birdland some five years before. 1956 finds him with Charles Mingus’s quintet as another phase of his career opens….

I hope you want to dig in and learn more about a true musician’s musician.


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Setlist Architect/Art Scene Checker-Outer/Sound Feeler

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