Although altoist Jackie McLean's Prestige recordings of the 1950s are not as significant as his Blue Notes from the '60s, he did record quite a bit of enjoyable hard bop material during this era. This CD is unusual for, in addition to a conventional quintet (with trumpeter Bill Hardman, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Art Taylor), the young tuba player Ray Draper is heard on three of the five group originals. Draper played his instrument as part of the frontline rather than in the rhythm section and, even if he was not on the level of McLean and Hardman, he gives some needed color to this set. Waldron, who contributed two of the five selections (the others are by McLean, Watkins or Draper) really sets the melancholy mood for much of the music and is an important force behind the scenes. An interesting CD.
Personnel: Bill Hardman (tp) Ray Draper (tu) Jackie McLean (as) Mal Waldron (p) Doug Watkins (b) Art Taylor (d)
03 Minor Dream
04 Beau Jack