Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

350

Jackie McLean: Destination...Out!

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Is this a Jackie McLean album the way Somethin’ Else is a Cannonball Adderley album? On the latter, Cannon’s "sideman" Miles Davis seems to be calling the shots. On Destination...Out!, trombonist Grachan Moncur III wrote three of the four tracks and is heard first after the head on the opening number. So was Jackie giving his name to the project to boost sales and get his pal some notice? Another piece of evidence is that this album is almost nothing like other Jackie McLean albums of the period, including One Step Beyond, where Moncur is also present. And as excellent as are such non-Moncur McLean albums as It’s Time and Action, Destination...Out! was a great day for everyone involved (McLean, alto sax; Moncur, trombone; Bobby Hutcherson, vibes; Larry Ridley, bass, and Roy Haynes, drums).

The album opens deep in Moncur’s chambers of darkness. "Love and Hate," a stalking, foreboding piece characteristic of Moncur’s composing at this time, draws from McLean a solo of tremendous depth and subtlety. This is McLean at his most moving. While he cannot entirely repress his native exultation, here he fits it into a larger picture that lives up to the title of the piece. Moncur’s solo provides something of a contrast; is he playing "hate" to Jackie’s "love"? Whatever, this track alone makes the album.

"Esoteric" is slightly more upbeat Moncur, with the two horn men and Hutcherson exploring a rich palette of moods. The lightest piece on the album is (of course!) the one number penned by McLean, "Kahlil the Prophet," and Moncur’s closer, "Riff Raff," is relatively conventional compared to his other compositions. But however upbeat anything on this album gets, there is nothing here that matches the magnificent jubilation reached by McLean and Lee Morgan on some of their collaborations. McLean’s destination here seems to be a vein of thoughtful music with a greater breadth of communicative power than was common in much of the music of the time.

Of course, the search for the same destination motivated the "outside" explorations of John Coltrane and a host of others in the same years. McLean, for all the self-advertising of his own adventurousness in the titles of his early Sixties albums ( Let Freedom Ring, One Step Beyond, and this one), actually never went as far over the line into "free" playing as did Trane or Ornette. Destination...Out! never approaches the startling unconventionality of those masters, but it succeeds in integrating "out" elements into the overall musical framework, and is richly satisfying on its own terms.

Title: Destination...Out! | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Profiles
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
New Soil

New Soil

Blue Note Records
2011

buy
4, 5 & 6

4, 5 & 6

Concord Music Group
2007

buy
Demon's Dance

Demon's Dance

Blue Note Records
2007

buy
4, 5 and 6

4, 5 and 6

Prestige Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019