Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean(1932-2006) and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard(1938-2008) combine effectively on this excellent quintet session recorded in New Jersey on January 8, 1961 with a superb rhythm section of Kenny Drew(piano); Doug Watkins(bass) & Pete La Roca(drums). Everyone's in fine form on eight bluesy tracks(including two alternative takes) with originals from McLean(2), Drew(3) & Hubbard(1). 'Bluesnik' was chosen by five jazz critics in 'Modern Jazz 1945-70' as one of 200 essential post-war jazz records and this RVG Edition(2009) still sounds fresh and vital over 50 years later.
This is an excellent and highly spirited session from Alto legend Jackie Mclean. Never one to sit on his laurels, Mclean restlessly searched for different ways to express himself during the late fifties and sixties and that is reflected here. Although a fairly straight ahead session, Mclean experiments with some misplaced notes and unusual turns of phrase during his solos. This album was the birth of his creative period which spawned albums such as "Destination out","Let freedom Ring" and "Action,action,action". Freddie hubbard proves to be an excellent choice of sideman on this session as he did on many other Blue Note sessions. This an excellent re-issue for all Mclean fans and fans of sixties Blue note jazz.
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