In 1963 Jackie McLean's alto playing was still rooted in hard bop orthodoxy but moving - as the title of this recording suggests - towards the freer aesthetic pioneered by Ornette Coleman. The result here is a conservative take on what a post-bop jazz might sound like. The four compositions are interesting, although for me the opener, 'Love and Hate', is the stand-out track - a minor ballad that sounds at times like a blues funeral march with a strong modal flavour. On the more up-tempo numbers the hard bop influences tend to dominate.
Like other experimental groups of the time, McLean's quintet ditches the piano. Hutcherson's vibes supply something of the missing comping, but the sparer, lighter sound of the vibes produces a clear, loose ensemble sound with lots of internal space.
Listeners who like this should investigate McLean's earlier 'One Step Beyond' and Moncur's later 'Evolution', both of which feature McLean, Moncur and Hutcherson and were recorded in the same year.