Cincinnati Babyhead

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Jazz Record : Jackie McLean – One Step Beyond

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Jackie McLean is one of those guys I came across on my journey into this jazz thing. He caught my ear for a lot of reasons. His sax and his hard driving music is that style I like.

This record is not an easy listening experience. It’s hard driving bop that swings. The first cut has an intro, almost a fanfare and then McLean takes off and so does the rhythm section. He blows a solo and is followed by Grachan Moncur lll doing the same on the trombone. This wasn’t the first time I heard jazz trombone but man do I like his playing. This is some good playing to start the record. Bobby Hutcherson fills in underneath on vibes before taking his solo. Nice mix of solos on this first cut.

This is just very talented musicians getting together to make the kind of music they want to play. Exchanging musical ideas. The rhythm section of Eddie Khan on bass and Tony Williams on drums are perfect. The vibes and trombone take some of the edge off McLean. They compliment his sound. Outstanding playing. McLean takes some nice runs. So do the others. Dig that crazy trombone player.

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My early listening to people like Zappa (lots of vibes and trombone), King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra etc steered me to this kind of music. Once i got into jazz more deeply with people like Coltrane, Miles, Mingus, Monk, this was a no brainer. It might be noise to a lot of folks but it’s noise CB likes.

One Step Beyond is one of those albums that mixes things up for my listening. Avant Guard, free style but with style and direction. I can only dream of being able to play music like this. But I can do the next best thing and sit in on this session and listen.  I’m locked in.

41 comments on “Jazz Record : Jackie McLean – One Step Beyond

  1. hanspostcard
    June 21, 2020

    Good stuff!. I remember McLean mostly from his participation in the Ken Burns Jazz documentary series…. I am getting that Album Draft set up- can you shoot me an email to- viciouspiranha@comcast.net – I will send out a group email mid week- look to get things going the first of July. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      June 21, 2020

      Jackie came across pretty cool in the doc. H e has so much music.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hanspostcard
        June 21, 2020

        Most of those old jazz guys were pretty cool. Would have been fun to have hung out with them i think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 21, 2020

        100% music with those guys. I always think it’s cool when you find out their hobbies, Model trains, ham radio etc some really cool things. Dave Brubeck was a horseman. Hey Hans they’re just like us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim S.
    June 21, 2020

    I know McLean’s name but do not know him very well as a player if at all. A quick look at his bio tells me he has played on about a million albums. I will give this a spin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      June 21, 2020

      Mind blowing huh? The amount of music he made. I think he ended up teaching at some music academy if my brain is remembering correctly. 100% musician. He can get out there Doc but that’s what I like.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        June 21, 2020

        Listened to it, liked it. Tony Williams. Can’t beat him. And that bass player? Whatever happened to him? I can take or leave the “outside” sax. Coltrane does that and boy, sometimes tough to listen to. I’ve always been ambivalent about vibes but I lilke what I heard here. Ambivalent becuase there’s a vibes player named Gary Burton who I used to always see on jazx cruises around Boston Harbor and it was a bit too much vibes for me. “Hey, vibes man, hey, jazz man, aw, play me a serenade.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 21, 2020

        So many of those good players circulated in the jazz world. A pool of solid hired guns. They usually hooked up with someone. Like Ray Brown with Oscar Peterson.
        Listening to another JM right now ‘Destination Out'” More accessible. Little more standard and does it sound good. Same lineup with different rhythm section. The vibes are subtle. Burton worked with Corea I think. I hear ya on the vibes. Lots of good players. What I like about these records is even though it has McLean as the leader, he shares the space. Miles was great at that. Totally against what you’d expect.
        Some guy from Bean Town turned me onto this new listening device. I think I’ll throw my others away.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        June 22, 2020

        Burton is pretty well-known. We used to have fun sailing around the harbor on blues and jazz cruises. It’s been quite a while since we did that, back in the day. I imagine your equivalent would be going out on the tundra.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 22, 2020

        Sitting in the hot tun with Nanook drinking hot rums, looking at the Northern Lights and digging some real “cool jazz”.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        June 22, 2020

        That’s the CB we know. Hipster.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 23, 2020

        Speaking about Zappa. You ever hear him do ‘Whipping Post’?

        Like

      • Jim S.
        June 23, 2020

        Hey, just realized I never answered this. Yes, I have the album. I bought it just because I knew he had done it. He got sick of people calling out for it and decided to just do it. He said he wasn’t even an ABB fan. But he did this and later did a song called “For Duane.” Go figure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 23, 2020

        Frank liked to fuck with peoples heads. I’d bet a lot of $$$ that he had nothing but respect for Duane. Can you imagine the amount of dumb questions he was asked. “Hey man, did you like the Beatles? Could you play the Guitar Weeps song just like they do?” How do you answer that one?

        Like

      • Jim S.
        June 24, 2020

        Kinda like the stupid questions Dylan used to get. He was totally contemptuous of all that shit. He’d sit there at a press conference totally unintimidated by the press and throw it back in their faces.
        “How would characterize yourself?”
        “I’m just a song and dance man.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 24, 2020

        When we started this conversation, Dylan popped into my head. same vibe but maybe even more dismissive than Zappa. Press and media really piss me off. Oh, I’m CB I cant say that shit. Didnt Bob take a chimp with him to a press conference or Howdy Doody or something like that?

        Like

      • Jim S.
        June 24, 2020

        Bob took Frank on a press junket dressed as a monkey.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 24, 2020

        That got a belly laugh. I think Zappa’s first manager was Howdy Doody.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        June 24, 2020

        I had to research that one. This is from a New York Post article about a woman who dated Dylan. It sort of came up randomly.

        “After critics lambasted shows on his 1987 tour, he read one of the reviews while a glowing article about Michael Jackson, featuring a picture of him and his chimp, Bubbles, stared him down from the opposite page. “Maybe I ought to get me a monkey,” said a dejected Dylan.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 24, 2020

        Another belly laugh. One thing I’ve picked up on Bob over the years is he is one funny guy. Dry as hell. Has that Mid Western humor. That is funny shit. That will be with me for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        June 23, 2020

        The story behind the story. It’s kinda heartbreaking how dismissive he was of Duane. But Zappa was like that for pretty much everybody but Zappa.

        http://wiki.killuglyradio.com/wiki/The_Allman_Brothers_Band

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 24, 2020

        I didnt read that the same way as you Doc. I guess he could have been a little more personal but that wasnt him. I pick out some credit given in the quotes. I believe him when he says he didnt listen to them a lot. I think he was pretty consumed with his own music. Not making excuses for him but what he heard he liked.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        June 24, 2020

        He sure liked ‘Whipping Post” a lot, even giving Duane credit for Gregg’s song.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 24, 2020

        FZ and the boys certainly didnt go through the motions when they played it. From what i can gather, Duane was pretty well liked by folks who new him. And if you didnt know him and you were a guitar player how couldnt you did the guy. Ignorant or mean spirited, maybe a little dumb on the side.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        June 24, 2020

        I get the feeling that FZ had a greater appreciation for Duane and the boys after he learned the song. Some songs you can’t just stop, noodle around on the vibes, have a couple guys do a comedy bit. Some songs you gotta just hammer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 24, 2020

        Absolutely. Plus the band was smokin on that cut I sent you. I tell you Doc, music I’m listening to right now is sounding so fricking good. I’m like a “hog for music”. The long jams are grabbing me.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        June 24, 2020

        Yeah, the prog got me going for sure. I drift in and out of it. Then I’ll go on a pop or blues spree. I’m still digging my SRV and ZZTop lists.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 24, 2020

        I was on a SRV jag a while ago. Easy to locked into that stuff. Variety is the key for me and that Spot thing is unbelievable.

        Like

  3. 1537
    June 21, 2020

    One Step beyond? I have just finished writing up Madness’ debut LP (haven’t done the Lego yet) … One Step Beyond.

    I liked this, it had an Oliver Nelson/Dexter Gordon vibe to me. A new name to me, I’ll bank.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      June 21, 2020

      He gets pretty adventurous but it works so good. This is accessible stuff. He has such a big library with so much great music. Neil recommended ‘Old Gospel’ with Ornette Coleman. I’m listening right now and I can guarantee you’d like it.
      I look forward to the Madness take. They had some good ‘Devils Horn” work on that one. I can hear it now. I had a DJ sneak one of their songs on at a wedding.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, Another Blogger
    June 21, 2020

    Hi there. Two thumbs up for Jackie. He was great. Have you heard New And Old Gospel, the album he did with Ornette?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      June 21, 2020

      I’m listening to your suggestion right now. It’s like finding secret treasure. Fantastic! I had never heard it. Lots going on in their collaboration. Thanks fella.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. hotfox63
    June 22, 2020

    Thanks for that, CB! I’ve just listen to “One Step Beyond”. Great music, but also pretty dark, cool, weird. A sophisticated album. My favorite Jackie McLean album is still “Bluesnik”. As the title suggests, it’s blues but it’s blues-based bop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      June 22, 2020

      I’ll give that one a listen. I had a nudge from Neil to New Old Gospel. I enjoyed that one. The “blues-based bop” sounds good. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hotfox63
        June 23, 2020

        Everything whats recorded by Blue Note during this period is great. This music seems quite familiar today but in those years it marked new ways of expressions in Afro-American music history. If you like “One Step Beyond” you may also like “Destination Out”. The album has an almost identical line up (except Roy Haynes replacing Tony Williams on drums).

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 23, 2020

        Listening to Bluesnik right now. Ill listen to Destination after. I’m kinda in this groove (along with Zappa) right now. Blue Note has a wealth of music that I’m still exploring.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. badfinger20 (Max)
    June 22, 2020

    You are right…this is not easy listening. It has more twist and turns than a river. I’ve been listening to this while working on something. The jazz bass players amaze me.

    I’ve played with some jazz guys and I threw my hands up. I totally respect those musicians (I Aint Worthy bow)…you have to live and breathe that music to know it inside and out properly. Some jazz has more of a structure…I was able to keep up with them on more structured pieces (not great though) but not the free flowing jazz…hell no I was lost. I would kick in a walking bass line but then the road would curve…and I wouldn’t.

    I did take some elements from it though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      June 22, 2020

      ‘Live and breathe” are the words for guys like McLean. He has more accessible work but my ear likes this stuff.
      Being a musician you would appreciate those bass guys. There are so many in the jazz
      world. Being able to play any kind of music, my hat is off to you folks. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        June 22, 2020

        Oh I like this stuff…I always look at music also as playing it…No way…I’m not in that league! I just sit back listen in amazement.
        Always a pleasure visiting here CB.

        Glad you are in Hans album draft…I’m in it also.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        June 23, 2020

        T>hanks Max
        I’m not a great joiner inner but Hans got me on a good day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        June 23, 2020

        I’m not either. I never join things on blogs…but with Hans I knew it would be good.

        Liked by 1 person

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