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A Long Drink Of The Blues

"A Long Drink Of The Blues" by Jackie McLean on New Jazz 8253

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"A Long Drink Of The Blues" by Jackie McLean on New Jazz 8253

A relaxing album. Perfect for a chilly, early autumn afternoon.

Jackie McLean is one of my favorite alto saxophonists. Haven’t heard a less than wonderful album by him, yet anyway. This album is a highly enjoyable listen. The first track starts with an argument which is pretty funny. When they finally settle down and start playing again they stroll into a smooth and relaxing piece which has a nice jammy flavor to it. Although an alto player, Jackie also plays the tenor sax on the first track which is the title tune, and it sounds pretty damn good I must say. But he excels on the alto. The tune clocks in at over 20 minutes and together with the false start and argument makes up for the whole of Side 1. The 2nd side contains three beautiful ballads. Three ballads in a row is very unusual. It makes the heart beat slower and is very soothing. The two sides has two different line-ups and both are great. A trumpeter I haven’t listen to much is Webster Young. He plays on Side 1 and I dig his style. Always a welcome voice is Curtis Fuller on the trombone, which is an instrument I seldom hear. Looking at my records, he’s the only trombone player I can remember appearing on any of them. Do you guys fancy hearing the trombone in jazz? My personal opinion is that it is definitely a welcome sound from time to time. But for me it’s not measuring up to other horns like the trumpet or the different saxophones in terms of sound or excitement. It’s a bit muffled and static with not much dynamics. Anyway, I think this is a relaxing and pleasurable album which I’m now listening to on this lazy Sunday afternoon.

I purchased another copy of this title before this one but it turned out to be a copy with some of the dreaded New Jazz hiss, plus it did not have the wide deep grooves either. I couldn’t return it which was not good. Very frustrating. But I had the opportunity to purchase this superb copy instead so I did just that. Money wasted on the other copy but I’m just happy to have found a true 1st pressing in great condition in the end.

I would highly recommend this album, as I would with any of Jackie McLeans LP’s from this era. Would be interesting to hear what you guys think of this particular title and which McLean titles are your favorites from any label? I really need to focus on getting some more titles by him as there are so many great ones. But so many great records and artists and so little time… and not enough money to get them all in a short space of time.

Autumn is here in Stockholm. The air is chilly and the leaves has started to turn yellow and red. The time for some cozy days indoors, relaxing away from the cold, with a nice stout and jazz on vinyl has arrived. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking… On another note I was out yesterday with a friend and went to watch some live jazz at the Glenn Miller Café here in Stockholm. Got some french Moules Frites and beer and saw the great Swedish legend Bernt Rosengren perform. A really great night. I love live jazz and I like to experience it more often. But not all artists nowadays play the stuff I like either. So you need to stay tuned on what’s good and when and where they play. That’s another question I have for you guys: do you go out and watch live jazz often, sometimes or never?

Stay tuned for more vintage jazz vinyl treasures coming up… cheers!

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