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Lazaro Vega

Jackie McLean

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Last night Jazz From Blue Lake featured the music of Jackie McLean at the top of each hour. The program is heard here today:www.bluelake.org/ondemand . And here's a reflection on the saxophonist/educator written 10 years ago by the Detroit Free Press's Mark Stryker: "When [McLean] died in the spring of 2006, I opened my obituary/tribute with this: 'There was nothing in jazz like the sugar-free sound of alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, who died last week at his home in Hartford, Conn., at age 74. McLean produced a searing, anguished wail that rode the sharp side of the pitch like a cowboy trying to tame a wild steer. Even those of us who worship him recognize that his acidic tone and slippery tuning are not to everyone’s taste. But for true believers, McLean’s bittersweet sound remains one of the most soulful cries in American music, and the hot-blooded intensity of his style manifests the same urgent quest for self-expression that made us fall in love with jazz in the first place.'"

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