COMPOSERS: Jackie McLean
WORKS: Rhythm of the Earth
PERFORMER: Jackie McLean (as); Roy Hargrove (tpt); Steve Davis (rb); Steve Nelson (vib); Alan Jay Parker (p); Nat Reeves (b); Eric McPherson(d)
CATALOGUE NO: 513 916-2 (dist. Polygram)
Like Betty Carter and the late Art Blakey, Jackie McLean has dedicated much of his artistic maturity to inspiring young musicians to carry on the jazz tradition. Here, the leader’s astringent, slippery alto shares soloing duties with three tremendously exciting prospects.
Roy Hargrove, especially, consistently provides beautifully controlled solos of flaring brilliance, but neither trombonist Davis nor vibes player Nelson would be out of place on any of the classic Blue Note hard-bop albums this session so convincingly emulates.
Supported by a busy but delicate rhythm section, and featuring some cogent compositions from its younger participants, this is uncomplicated, brisk, accessible jazz of the highest calibre. Chris Parker