Jackie McLean's Consequence
The new Toshiba Japan Blue Note LT CD reissues are really something. Great packaging, superb sound and collectable at that. This title Jackie McLean's "Consequence" (TOJC 50278) was originally recorded on December 5th in 1965 and has Jackie McLean at his writing, playing and creative peak. Unbelievably this recording was held back until the world was ready for it 15 years later.
“Bluesnova” swings hard as it opens this set with Mclean on the left and Lee Morgan on the right. Harold Mabern is center on piano with Herbie Lewis on bass and on drums the great Billy Higgins. Billy knocked me out on this tune which is a Lee Morgan standout composition. The piano sound here is open and transparent and as good as Van Gelder got. None of the watery sound we have heard so often.
“Consequence” leans to the more out there mode but never ventures too far to lose any emotional impact. Mclean’s long solo on the left seems to ramble until Morgan comes in with his own solo and blows so hard. Playing fast matching McLean incredibly almost note for note.
This CD has a familiarity to it a comfort zone as if you have heard it all before. This could be the CD you could pull out of your collection and say this is one of the best Blue Note’s musically and sonically. It is that good. its better than good its great. I am amazed that Blue Note held the recording back so long not releasing it until around 1980 on LP.
Even on a standard blues ballad like “My Old Flame” each performer gels with each other to produce an inspired performance. This is the music of emotions blended together to create a force, a force larger than the emotion itself. This is passionate music of real human power. Just one listen to “Tolypso” will bear out. This human power of music. This is the evidence and you want to hear more of it.
“Slumber” a Lee Morgan tune is stellar in its beauty of melody and is a song blended together so well you will swear you know the tune at first listen. A work of the whole musical force again swinging forcefully and gracefully. This is extremely touching horn music a thing of great beauty. This is one of the most melodic and tasteful tunes in jazz. Unforgetable it is.
Collaborations like this are not commonplace. This is standout McLean and Morgan playing as one to create the total picture of what they cannot do individually. The total picture of the tune. The piano here carrying forth the drive, pulsing and pushing home the underpinning of this superb track. Our time machine takes us back in time to when this collaboration took place and what a collaboration. Nothing missing and nothing out of place.
The finale “Verne’s Tune” by McLean is a rollicking fast paced song that is upbeat but not far out. McLean’s horn sings, Morgan’s horn toots fast notes his sound fat and affected like some players but a sound all his own.
The sound is wide, clear and transparent. This is a top of the heap candidate for 33 RPM vinyl release or the ever ubiquitous 45 RPM set treatment. The sound is excellent and so is the music. I applaud Toshiba Japan for putting out these great LT reissues on CD and at bargain prices. The packaging the sound and the music are all first rate. Now can somone take this one step farther and put this compelling music out again on vinyl. i am waiting and others are too.
Original Producer: Francis Wolff
Recording Engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Series Supervisor: Michael Cuscuna
Series Producer: Hitoshi Namekata & Yoshiko Tsuge
Re-master 2012: Yoshio Okazaki