Jackie McLean

Contour

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This attractive double LP contains the full contents of two Jackie McLean albums: Lights Out and 4, 5 and 6. On what was among the altoist's first sessions as a leader (he was 24), McLean is heard on the earlier date playing two of his originals, three by trumpeter Donald Byrd, and a swinging rendition of "A Foggy Day." McLean is matched with Byrd, pianist Elmo Hope, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor on that session, while the second half of this two-fer only has Byrd on two of the six numbers including "Confirmation," which adds tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley to the group; the rhythm section is Watkins, Taylor, and pianist Mal Waldron. McLean's ballad features on "Sentimental Journey," "Why Was I Born" and "When I Fall in Love" display his distinctive sound and rapidly maturing style. Never a mere Charlie Parker imitator, McLean was already developing his own adventurous style.

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