bookscdsdvdsandcoolstuff | USA | 01/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is an okay record. The line-up is outstanding, and the session of course is competently played. However, the tunes are old by 1978 and Jackie McLean had a working group that he was interested in recording with. He wasn't practicing all that much at this point (the 1970s) as he was focused on his efforts to build the Artists Collective (an educational institution in Hartford Connecticut) and was founding the Jazz department at the Hartt School of Music.
One can hear the ambivalence on this record, which never really starts to cook. The 70s, which I once heard Prof. McLean refer to as the "Dark Ages," and the period in which this record was made, were a tough time on jazz musicians. Being asked to make a nostalgia album for the Japanese audience clearly wasn't a high point for many of the musicians on this album. It shows. We are treated to lack luster versions of his old Blue Note classics and three ballads.
If you are new to the music of Jackie McLean, I would suggest giving this record a pass. It really is only essential for the completist. You would be far better off buying his earlier or later work. Anything recorded in the 1960s for Blue Note is outstanding. If you want to hear him play standards, I suggest Swing, Swang, Swingin', which is a GREAT record.
However, one track worth owning is "Bein Green" which Kermit the Frog of course made famous. The full name of this tune is "Its Not Easy Being Green." It was intended to be a commentary on racism of course, but given the state of this album, it is only REALLY effective as a cool piece of nostalgia. My kids love this track, and it is a great way to introduce McLean to kids!
I am glad to see this record available at such a great price however.
I want to correct one error some reviews seem to make. McLean actually did record quite a bit of VERY good work later in life, especially in the 1990s when Jazz was undergoing a bit of a renaissance.
Some outstanding examples of his later work include Dynasty, Fire and Love (Blue Note), Nature Boy (Blue Note w/ Cedar Walton and Billy Higgins! Killer!), Rites of Passage, Nathalie (with Lew Matthews), and a host of others. To say that Jackie didn't record much after this album shows an ignorance of his career. Some of these later albums are indicative of some of his best work.
Out of the later albums I mention, I think one should really check out "Fire and Love" and "Nature Boy." These two records are beautiful and wonderfully recorded."
SEEMS OUT OF TEMPO
John M. | 10/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"With Hank Jones Ron Carter and Tony Williams. This isn't a real good session. Jackie hadn't recorded in 3 and 1/2 years and from the sound of it hadn't practiced very much either.and don't count on Hank Jones to get things going either. Hank's playing the bridge on the opening chorus of Confirmation sounds a bit silly even demeaning to the classic version Jackie did on that 4 5 and 6 date for Prestige two decades earlier. The fact that they play 3 ballads is further evidence that somthing is amiss here. Jackie didn't record much after this 1978 date but he actually sounded better in 1991 The Jackie Mac Attack-Live. Jack also plays well on BIRDOLOGY VOLs 1 and 2 a jam session from 1989 with Johnny Griffin Don Sickler etc."