220

Jackie McLean: 4, 5 and 6

By

Sign in to view read count
Not to discredit the ability, output or creative drive of any musician who has contributed to the pantheon of documented jazz in the past fifty years, but there are definitely tiers of jazz players, at least with regards to who receives credit and recognition in the eyes of the lay jazz fan. Your first tier is your Miles Davis', John Coltrane's and Thelonious Monk's (the sort of guys who go by one name only, if you will). If you're new to jazz, only listen to jazz when you're in that sort of mood or just want one or two hip jazz records to make your record collection look cooler, these would be the guys to reach for.

Then you have cats like Jackie McLean, Dexter Gordon and Joe Henderson. These guys are amazing artists who put out great records—but if a friend says, "Hey I want to get in to jazz... what record should I start with? You're going to say Trane—not Jackie McLean.

This is why a record like McLean's 4, 5, and 6, newly reissued as part of the Rudy Van Gelder Remaster series, is such an enjoyable listen. Not everyone will take the time to dissect this all-but-lost treasure, but you will, hip and knowledgeable All About Jazz reader you!

Originally released in 1956 by Prestige Records, 4, 5 and 6 was McLean's third session as bandleader and teams the former Davis sideman with pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkin and drummer Arthur Taylor. Waldron, Watkins and Taylor are as good a rhythm section as any of their more heralded peers. For a strong section of "Sentimental Journey, McLean lays back and lets this trio do the work. The three are strong in support of the saxophonist, establishing loose groves for their bandleader to wander through.

The quartet expands to six for the Charlie Parker-penned "Confirmation, as Donald Byrd joins on trumpet and Hank Mobley adds his tenor saxophone. With a full, bright horn section the McLean band address a world of textures, tastes and tones that are delightful all around.

"Why Was I Born is, likewise, spectacular. Everything about "Abstraction is cool—in every sense of the word. The tune is the sort that transports you till suddenly you find yourself sitting on a bar stool thinking slow, sipping whisky to avoid the rain outside because the walk home won't be wonderful. "Abstraction is the distraction of slow moving hips, vision clouded by marijuana, and low lights.

As reissues go, 4, 5 and 6 is a great addition to the catalog of classic hard bop. The perfect album for late night relaxation sessions of hanging out and getting high, McLean and company are on point and in control on this amazing disc.

Track Listing: Sentimental Journey; Why Was I Born?; Contour; Confirmation; When I Fall in Love; Abstraction.

Personnel: Jackie McLean: alto saxophone; Donald Byrd: trumpet; Hank Mobley: tenor saophone; Mal Waldron: piano; Doug Watkins: bass; Arthur Taylor: drums.

Title: 4, 5 and 6 | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Prestige Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Alfa" CD/LP/Track Review Alfa
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by John Sharpe
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Ugly Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.