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Mark Stryker

Jackie McLean: Swing, Swang, Swingin'

43 posts in this topic

18 minutes ago, AllenLowe said:

...in that way that recovered junkies and alcoholics tend to give absolute loyalty to those who stuck with them when things were really at their lowest.

I think I hear what you're trying to say, but is there maybe a different way to put it? Just saying, the people who forget those who stood by them when things are really at the lowest, those are what we tend to think of as "real assholes", correct?

Or is this one of those "artist" things Larry's talking about? :g

Seriously, when it's all over, if you can own your decisions and their outcomes, hey, you win. That shit is personal and not for anybody else.

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

I think I hear what you're trying to say, but is there maybe a different way to put it? Just saying, the people who forget those who stood by them when things are really at the lowest, those are what we tend to think of as "real assholes", correct?

Or is this one of those "artist" things Larry's talking about? :g

Seriously, when it's all over, if you can own your decisions and their outcomes, hey, you win. That shit is personal and not for anybody else.

well...if it were that straightforward. Sometimes I see it as replacing one self-destructive dependency with another. And I have seen it more than once, though I should not mention any more names....

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None needed. God bless the child, etc.

And those that do are few and far between, if we're honest about it. #leanonmeastupidsongbutstillspeaksacertaintruth

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"Seriously, when it's all over, if you can own your decisions and their outcomes, hey, you win. That shit is personal and not for anybody else."

Or as Lester Young put it, "But it's the same way all over, you dig? It's fight for your life,  that's all. Until death do we part, and then you got it made."

 I also like his remark earlier in the same 1959 interview:  "I've developed my saxophone to make it sound just like a alto, make it sound like a tenor, make it sound like a bass, and everything, and I'm not through working on it yet."

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You fight for your life.

You do indeed.

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6 hours ago, JSngry said:

god, that is such a beautiful record. Talk about singing your song....

Sorry but I've lost the thread....which record is that? 

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I enjoy later McLean, but am ignorant of all the behind the scenes drama - and have zero knowledge of how various sax brands sound. To me, the albums I've heard sound plenty inspired. Guess ignorance is bliss in this case. 

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that's quite a nice solo on You Don't Know What Love Is. As for saxophones of choice, well, it's the reason so many contemporary players have that buzzy, kazoo-like sound. But they've been seduced by how much easier modern horns play. But it's a real loss for the soul of the music.

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Nature Boy was a Chrismas present from my wife. I love that Album, but I love everything Jackie McLean did. 

Saw him live twice: 

In 1983 with Bobby Hutcherson, Herbie Lewis and Billy Higgins, playing a set of Bebop Standards, 

and a more advanced set of Music in 1985 with his band with his son Rene, Hotep Galeta on piano, David Eubanks (former with Dex) on bass, the Drummer if I remember Right was Ronnie Burrage, is that possible? and the percussionist was Kemati Dinizulu (later with Sonny Rollins). 

So, considering the fact that he was not easy to book if I read all those stories About his wife Dolly, I think  I was quite lucky I saw him twice. 

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I saw the band with Rene, Steve Davis and co. in the mid 90s that did ‘Rhythm of the Earth’ as part of a Cross-Canada Festival tour (Dolly must have been happy with the $). It was fabulous - nice venue, great band and I thought all my Xmases had come at once as I had been waiting lots of years to catch him live ! They played much of the material from that album. The second time I caught Jackie with the Cedar Walton Trio (Cedar, David Williams, Billy Higgins) at LA’s Jazz Bakery, playing in a more conservative, standards-focussed style - got to briefly chat with Jackie on that occasion (friendly) and the whole band signed the Jazz Bakery flyer for me, which I treasure to this day.

Edited by sidewinder

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One of the last times I saw Jackie McLean was at the Aaron Davis Hall in NYC during a "Jazz Corner Hang" on June 9, 2000. Several Jazz Corner forum members went while another group went to the Knitting Factory. The line-up was killer: Jackie with Bobby Hutcherson, Andrew Hill, Scott Colley & Billy Higgins. For some reason, I remember it as being "off". It might have been the odd "Star Spangled Banner", that I seem to remember being done as a march, or just the fact that they didn't play like a "band" but more like a collection of players.

The very last time I saw Jackie was at the Regattabar and he didn't play very well. In between songs, his hands shook a lot. He seemed to be very weak. I figured he was sick. It was still a memorable show - after all - he toured with a great band.

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14 hours ago, AllenLowe said:

that's quite a nice solo on You Don't Know What Love Is. As for saxophones of choice, well, it's the reason so many contemporary players have that buzzy, kazoo-like sound. But they've been seduced by how much easier modern horns play. But it's a real loss for the soul of the music.

That's interesting.

A few weekends ago I was hanging with some friends whose 10 y/o son plays alto sax. He loves playing and was lamenting that he had to sacrifice both band classes (concert & jazz) because he wanted to take Spanish. The teacher wouldn't allow him to just take jazz- his favorite of the two - without taking concert along with it (parents also pushing him to take Spanish).

Anyway, he had made a recording of himself over a click track where he played both alto & piano (can't remember the standard) and I was happy to listen to it. While he was bemoaning the fact that he had to play with a bamboo reed, I have to say his sound reminded me of that older tone - like the tone of Pepper, Getz or Hodges - more gentle with that wood/metal type resonance that I hear out of those classic recordings. So, definitely understand the difference you're describing here.

Regardless, I was shocked at how good he played at 10 y/o, not to mention he doubled on sax & piano. I did as much as I could to encourage him and gave him a list of sax players to check out (he was loving Desmond on Take 5). McLean was included, of course. 

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4 hours ago, bresna said:

The very last time I saw Jackie was at the Regattabar and he didn't play very well. In between songs, his hands shook a lot. He seemed to be very weak. I figured he was sick.

I'm thinking/hoping that he had insurance and maybe a pension because of his university position, and also did not have to suffer the indignity of playing endless exploitative and/or otherwise bullshit club gigs just to make a few survival bucks.

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16 hours ago, AllenLowe said:

 As for saxophones of choice, well, it's the reason so many contemporary players have that buzzy, kazoo-like sound. But they've been seduced by how much easier modern horns play. But it's a real loss for the soul of the music.

Same with percussion. I once bought a set of timbales, not a sportscar sort of model but a heavy station wagon model, recognizing I would have to work on it but it would be worth it. And I was not disappointed.  

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not to rove too far from the subject, but those older horns just breathe like newer ones don't - weirdly enough it's like the difference between tubes and solid state.

Edited by AllenLowe

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23 minutes ago, AllenLowe said:

not to rove too far from the subject, but those older horns just breathe like newer ones don't - weirdly enough it's like the difference between tubes and solid state.

JR Monterose loved his ancient silver pre-WWII Selmer. He told me after the war the French melted down discarded Jeeps to make the next generation of saxophones.

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they got any more of those jeeps lying around?

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