Up: By Jackie McLean

In 1956, Jackie McLean (1931-2006) recorded the album Lights Out! with Donald Byrd (trumpet), Elmo Hope (piano), Doug Watkins (bass), and Art Taylor (drums). Our selection from this album is “Up”, written by Jackie McLean.

“Up” begins with a few phrases which Jackie McLean and Donald Byrd play, followed by a drum break. Byrd takes the first solo, after which is McLean’s. The first few phrases of his are stunning, despite this being his “warming up” compared to the rest of his solo. The rest of the group follows him as he explores the chord sequence, in which he touches several quotes which are mixed with quick phrases. One could mistake his solo for one of Parker’s in places. Enjoy!

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