"Street Singers" Vs. "Jackie's Bag"
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 09/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's too bad that the domestic CD version of Jackie McLean's "Jackie's Bag" is no longer available [at the time of this writing]. That release combined all the material from two sessions (three songs from 1/18/59 and six songs from 9/1/60) on one disc. Unfortunately, the import versions have split this material up on two expensive single issues, "Jackie's Bag" and "Street Singers." For my money, I would have to give "Street Singers" the nod over "Jackie's Bag." Since both CDs contain "Appointment In Ghana," "A Ballad For Doll," and "Isle Of Java" (from the 9/1/60 session featuring Jackie, Tina Brooks, Blue Mitchell, Kenny Drew, Paul Chambers, and Art Taylor), you basically have to decide whether you want the rest of the material from the 9/1 session, "Street Singers," or the CD that mirrors the original vinyl release, "Jackie's Bag." I personally find those other three tracks from 9/1, "Street Singer," "Melonae's Dance" and "Medina," more enjoyable than the material from 1/18, "Quadrangle," "Blues Inn" and "Fidel." While I am a huge Sonny Clark fan (the band on the 1/18 session also includes Donald Byrd, Chambers and Philly Joe Jones), these tunes have always left me a little cold -- maybe that is why Alfred Lion stopped the date after only three songs. The only wrinkle to this scenario is the song "Street Singer" also appears on Tina Brooks' CD "Back To The Tracks." If you already have Tina's disc, then it really is a toss up between "Bag" and "Street" because "Street Singer" (the song) is easily the best of those three extra tunes from the 9/1 session. Of course, if you have money to burn, get all three -- the music's classic. If you don't have money to burn, wait for "Jackie's Bag" to hopefully get reissued domestically."