Jackie McLean Talking Jazz
Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean and I first met on the telephone many years ago, and we have kept up our long distance friendship ever since. But even though we had talked often, our first face-to-face conversation took place at a recording studio in New York City for the purpose of recording this interview. We had to reschedule the interview several times, mostly because of his busy teaching schedule in Hartford, Connecticut, where he now lives, and, the last time, because of a spill he had taken on a motorbike which put him on crutches. Jackie has survived what he calls the heroin plague and has been a leading stylist on the jazz scene for four decades. His is one of the more important careers, spanning as it does a role in the bebop revolution of the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, the avant garde movement of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s and the great exodus (to teaching and other activities) from the New York jazz life during the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. And yet, except among fans and folks "in the know," Jackie has been relatively unheralded during the latter two decades. This interview is one of the few he has done recently.