Monday, April 03, 2006

Jackie McLean [1932-2006]

Alto sax great Jackie McLean passed away last week at the age of 73. Unfortunately, I only had one opportunity to see him play in person. It was in the mid-80s at the famous San Francisco club called the Keystone Corner. The pictures are on the dark side because, like most clubs, they didn't allow flash photography. (One of my favorite albums of all time, Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s Bright Moments was recorded live at the Keystone.)

On this particular occasion, McLean co-led a quintet with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. This quintet alternated with another quintet led by tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon, featuring trumpeter Woody Shaw. What a double bill!