Mal Waldron / Jackie McLean

Left Alone '86

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Although he wasn't maintaining the same nonstop pace he had in the early '60s, Jackie McLean still played magnificently throughout the 1980s. He demonstrated that repeatedly on this 1986 duo date with pianist Mal Waldron, whose lovely countermelodies, complementary solos, darting phrases, and supporting accompaniment proved a perfect contrast to McLean's forays. He is lyrical and engaging on some tracks; his explosive side emerges on others, where the McLean whose alto seemed ready to disintegrate on such sets as Action or A Fickle Sonance charges to the fore, hitting upper register home runs and ripping through the notes. It's good to know that McLean could still summon that drive.

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