If You Could Get Your Hands on Something That Nobody Else Had, You Had Something Incredible

New DTM page: Jackie McLean Interview (by Steve Lehman)

Lehman's long 2007 article McLean's Scene: Jackie McLean as Improvisor, Educator, and Activist is also recommended.  

Upcoming Lehman gigs include

More at stevelehman.com.


Working with Steve on this interview makes me wish I knew the whole J-Mac discography better. Right now I'm spinning Let Freedom Ring, which I have a nice older heavy vinyl copy of. Billy Higgins sounds insanely great, as does Herbie Lewis, who was only 21 at the time. (Indeed this might have been Lewis's first record date.) The McLean originals are utterly unlike any other composer and there's nice tension between some of McLean's more "out" phrases and the total Monk-to-Bud bebop of Walter Davis. 

The main thing for me about Jackie McLean is his total commitment: you can hear his enormous spirituality in every squalling phrase. 


Happy to have guest interviews here at DTM anytime, especially of older musicians. Next week there will be one of Ellery Eskelin by Jacob Wunsch. 


Will Mason is beginning an interview series with younger peers, beginning with detailed conversation with Jesse Stacken.

My recent DownBeat interview with Keith Jarrett is online for a limited time.


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