One of the best jazz CDs all time
Scott Williams | Oakland, CA United States | 04/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD would be better titled Destination Out of this World. Here McLean joins up with Grachan Moncur, and Bobby Hutcherson to create one of the all time masterpieces of jazz. Grachan Moncur is really the muse here. All of the songs are either written by Grachan, or heavily influenced by his compositional style. This album, features a very similar lineup to One Step Beyond. However, this is the one to get if you can only get one. Although the critical reviews of One Step are a little bit better, this album really digs deeper into what this group was all about, and that is mood. This album is just drenched in a foggy surreal, reflective mood. The deep brooding lines of Moncur's trombone combined by with the vibes of Hutcherson is something that every jazz fan must here. It really gets deep into your bones. Jackie McLean is great player, with an open mind and a creative flair. He could play with any group and this CD is no exception. If anyone else was the leader they would have messed up the chemistry, but Jackie fits in perfectly and adds in impressive solos and makes a great album into one of the best all time albums. Absolutely esstential for every jazz fan and every jazz collection."
Time and Space
Improvisor | Seattle,WA | 02/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this cd from Amazon at the same time as Jacknife and Capuchin Swing. Although the other two were good, this one was clearly the best of the three. It has a unique use of space and timing that I have not heard for a long time. Although the music does not cross the line into atonality it sometimes gets close to the edge, which is difficult to maintain. There are different time signatures in use and although I have heard his saxophone style described sometimes as shrieks, I did not find it hard to listen to. Jackie McLean was willing to take chances and not stay in one style for his entire career, which is commendable for an artist. Although it is different I find myself listening to it over and over again. I plan to get others if I can connvince my wife. If you want to step into the waters of something new I would recommend this CD. It is at a very good price now."
William R. Nicholas | Mahwah, NJ USA | 10/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is a myth in jazz accidemics that the 1960s were the avant gaurd vs the be-boppers. Read histories and you'll get the idea that was all that was happening.
What a bunch of garbage: people remember this era in jazz for the amount of amazing work going on. Free jazz, Mingus's orchestral experiments, fusion, Don Ellis' stews, and much more.
That much more includes a chamber jazz that mixed avant gaurde and traditional ideas. Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch and this record personafy this type of music.
1963s Destination Out has four pieces: these work around McClean's minimalistic alto sax playing, Bobby Hutcherson's vibes, Grechen Moncur's trombone, Roy Haynes on drums and Larry Ridley on bass.
These numbers range from slow blues essays with a lot of subtitutions to compositions like "Esoteric." Every track is outstanding, but let me take "Esoteric" to explain why Destiantion Out is so essential to any music lover. It is not, like Albert Ayler or Cecil Taylor at this time, that the players work outside the tonal centers. There are firmly laid chords in this music, and the musicians stay "inside" these changes.
But there is huge ammounts of couterpoint in this music: two notes a half tone apart create the framework of "Esoteric." The dissonence is not from the notes going against each other or the soloist going against the base note. It is that the notes are lined up in ways we usually don't hear, and these create tension. The tension is not in the soloing, but in the way the music is composed.
All this is accidemic and I appologize for boring you with this. You really have to hear Destination Out! Once you do, you will forget all the unimportant technical aspects of this music and be swept by its increadible emotional power. I first heard "Esoteric" eight years ago and it is as powerful now as the day when I was uncontrolably compelled to buy this record. I cannot do this record justice and cannot recommened it highly enough.
An aside: if jazz historians think Impulse! was the cutting edge labal and Blue Note was the kinder and gentler counterpart, professor, go back and hear this masterpiece again.
I don't know if McCLean and crew ever got out to their destination, but Destination Out is a trip we ALL need to take.