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John McLean: Easy Go

Jim Santella By

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Mostly his originals, the session smokes with an authenticity that centers on exciting guitar leadership. By adding organ and tenor saxophone, McLean provides a sound that captures the essence of jazz and rock. Pieces by Woody Shaw, Bill Evans/Miles Davis and Jaco Pastorius add a mainstream charm. Hammond organ and guitar go back a long way. They blend to provide a distinctive sound that is at once contemporary and classic. This is timeless music.

Lyrical and expressive, McLean makes full use of dynamic shading. From loud to soft and with appropriate punctuation, he provides a vocal-like sound through his band. Except for drummer Adam Nussbaum, this is McLean's Chicago working band. And they're tight. Soaring lightly through an acoustic model and driving confidently with an electric guitar, the leader expresses tastefully. His band surrounds him with vivid impressions. The title track lopes gently, leaving smooth footprints. After all, McLean considers Wes Montgomery a prime influence. Other pieces carry dramatic overtones. The leader has been careful to focus on thematic concepts within each song. By doing so, he's created a scenic landscape that will appeal to straight-ahead readers as well as to lovers of popular music.


Track Listing: Fat Chance; Cowboy; Three Views of a Secret; October; My Brother Richard; Sag Harbor; Desperate Measures; Blue In Green; Blues for Wood; Easy Go.

Personnel: John McLean- guitars; Larry Lohut- acoustic bass; Karl Montzka- piano, Hammond B-3; Jim Gailloretto- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Adam Nussbaum- drums.

Title: Easy Go | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Premonition Records


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