Donald Byrd and Jackie McLean at Byrd’s Off To The Races session, Hackensack NJ, December 21 1958 (photo by Francis Wolff)
One Step Beyond by Jackie McLean. Sidemen are Grachan Moncur III, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson and Eddie Khan.
Jackie McLean - Das’ Dat (1964)
From allmusic’s review:
McLean’s butt funky “Das’ Dat,” which follows, owes a debt to Horace Silver to be sure, but the blues element, which is in the tune’s head, is pure Jackie McLean. McLean’s own playing isn’t particularly adventurous, though he pushes his tone to the limits at times. He swings tough with the hard bop sensibility that put him on the label in the first place, and “Das’ Dat” is the most enjoyable thing here.
From all about jazz:
“Das’ Dat” - a pretty straight blues in Bb - enters as if to remind listeners from where McLean’s music comes. Hancock’s solo and comping on this are revealing; he plays right inside the tune, with only the slightest references to the more exploratory playing elsewhere on the recording.
I’d put this under-the-radar LP up there among Herbie Hancock’s finest moments. Repeated listens reveal additional harmonic complexities and stunningly sympathetic interactions.
This is a great album, and it’s one of the albums that Jackie McLean put out in the 60s that a dear friend called Jackie McLean’s “state of emergency” period. A time between 1962 and 1965 where McLean released some albums with titles that coincided with the urgency of the civil rights movement. The first one being Let Freedom Ring! Some others being Right Now!, Action Action Action, and the album above, It’s Time! His Mosaic boxset has all the pivotal work from 64 to 66. Let Freedom Ring! was in 62, so it’s not included. The boxset is out of print, but it’s worth tracking down.
Sadly, I don’t think many listeners today are able to connect the dots with the climate of the time and some of the titles the musicians used for their albums. The rebellion aspect has been lost in the narrative.
A documentary I highly recommend is Jackie McLean on Mars. It’s only 32 minutes, so it’s not terribly long and it’s well worth the watch. Click here to view it. J Mac was a visionary and a champion for the people.
Jack Wilson - Easterly Winds
Not a title that people talk about much. Look at the sidemen on the date. It doesn’t get better than that really.