“Jackie McLean and Co.” was recorded and released in 1957. As the description below explains, this Hard Bop album was an unusual one because it featured a fifth member and not the typical 4 man (Trumpet , Sax, Bass and Drums) combination. McLean added very young and talented Tuba player, Ray Draper which added a new sound to three of the five songs of this classic album, “Flickers,” “Help” and “Minor Dreams,” which Draper wrote for this album. Ray Draper recorded another album with McLean in this year, “Strange Blues” and shortly followed up with his own little splash soon after with a couple of albums of his own, learn more about him here. Jackie McLean was a true innovator and if you listen to as many recording of him as I have, leader or sideman, you’ll realize that he was always experimenting. He was always involved with “out of the box” type of recordings, it seems that he was on some sort of mission all the times. This really wasn’t out of the ordinary because most of the Jazz musicians of his era were very creative and surely had the superior “talent” to distinguish themselves from each other but also record together without disrupting one another. This is the very essence of Jazz and why it stands out from everything else. Jazz musicians have the freedom to experiment in an environment where improvising is encouraged.
About the album:
Although altoist Jackie McLean’s Prestige recordings of the 1950s are not as significant as his Blue Notes from the ’60s, he did record quite a bit of enjoyable hard bop material during this era. This CD is unusual for, in addition to a conventional quintet (with trumpeter Bill Hardman, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Art Taylor), the young tuba player Ray Draper is heard on three of the five group originals. Draper played his instrument as part of the frontline rather than in the rhythm section and, even if he was not on the level of McLean and Hardman, he gives some needed color to this set. Waldron, who….Read More