Jackie McLean: Bluesnik (Blue Note Classic Vinyl Series) LP
Blue Note, 1962Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean was already a veteran of the NYC jazz scene by the time he began recording as a leader for Blue Note in 1959. In his first few years with the label McLean recorded frequently, churning out hard bop classics in quick succession. The culmination of this period is undoubtedly Bluesnik, a vibrant 1961 session that brims with immediacy. McLean had the blues on his mind when he entered Rudy Van Gelder’s studio that January with a formidable quintet featuring Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Kenny Drew on piano, Doug Watkins on bass, and Pete La Roca on drums. Over the course of six original blues pieces the band goes from strength to strength, blazing out of the gate on McLean’s title tune and moving through every hue of blue from the leader’s shuffling “Goin’ Way Blues” to the pianist’s bright theme “Drew’s Blues” and Hubbard’s no-nonsense “Blues Function.”
This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is stereo, all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
A2: Goin' 'Way Blues
A3: Drew's Blues
B1: Cool Green
B2: Blues Function