Sunday, February 21, 2021

You Can Call Me Altissimo

I'm kind of depressed about my doctor's appointment tomorrow, and lots of other junk, but I promised a Sunday BHM screed so I'm here to deliver the goods.

I've wanted to cover this guy for years, but suitable archival bits of him are kind of scarce for whatever reason. Luckily, someone popped this set -- two sets, really -- onto one of the bootleg trackers a while back.

Today's hero of yesteryore ought need no introduction, except to say that if you don't know who Jackie McLean is, you're just what eventually results when music gets taken out of schools.

I won't say too much about this beautiful two hours, except that if you like your Hard Bop hard, intense and played with commitment, you've come to the right show, as this is the only concert I've ever heard where the bass player gets so into it he unintentionally rips the double bass right off its frame in the middle of a tune.

After the song is over, Jackie discusses it with the audience, and they give the guy a huge ovation. Then, he shifts to electric for the remainder of the 1st set.

Obviously that's not the primo highlight, but you do of course get oodles of Jackie and trombone master Steve Davis blowing boss and brash for the whole 115 minutes of mayhem.

All right Jazz snobs, this one is 27 years old today, so let's anniversarize.

Jackie McLean Quintet
University of Virginia Jazz Festival
Old Cabell Hall
Charlottesville, Virginia

01 Rhythm of the Earth
02 Cyclical
03 band introductions
04 Knot the Blues
05 Five
06 announcements
07 Minor March
08 band introductions
09 A Glass Enclosure
10 Yesterday's Blues Tomorrow
11 Zimbabwe
12 Five

Total time: 1:55:05
disc break goes after Track 05

Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
Nat Reeves – bass
Steve Davis – trombone
Alan Palmer – piano
Eric McPherson – drums

master DAT from the mixing desk, transferred and mastered in 2009 by Bill Koucky
announcements and band introductions -- which were nearly inaudible -- increased 12dB and some dead air trimmed by EN, February 2022

612 MB FLAC/February 2021 archive link

I'll magnetize some more Black History Month movement in a few days, but let Jackie Sax here -- yes he's one of the blazingest altos ever to bend a reed -- send some good air through your weekend fare, if you dare! I share because I care.--J.

5.17.1931 - 3.31.2006


  1. Wow, such a wonderful Sunday morning gift! I attended this concert. Nat Reeves was a classmate in high school. I can't thank you enough, but I thought I'd try anyway.

    1. NICE!!!!!!! The guy breaking his bass must've been memorable.

  2. hey I slightly trimmed some of the dead air in this show, and increased the volume of the announcements so you could hear what the heck they are saying, so if you wanna get this again go for it!

  3. Hi, I can't see this one in the 2022 folder for some reason. All the other recent posts are there, and much appreciated. Am I missing something?