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  • Let Freedom Ring
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Let Freedom Ring Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, September 2, 2003
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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Melody for Melonae (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2003 Digital Remaster)13:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I'll Keep Loving You (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2003 Digital Remaster) 6:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Rene (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2003 Digital Remaster)10:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Omega (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2003 Digital Remaster) 8:31$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 2, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B0000BV20X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tom B. on March 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Being that I'm a huge fan of Jackie McLean's straight-ahead hard bop sessions, I didn't think I would like this session when I picked it up. After popping this disc into my cd player when I got home, I could tell from the first few seconds of "Melody for Melonae" that I couldn't have been more wrong. This is definitely one of McLean's best, which says a lot since his discography is so vast. After hearing this session, you will probably wonder why the quartet on the four tracks (McLean, Walter Davis, Jr. on piano, Herbie Lewis on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums) did not become a working group because they work so well together! All four tracks on this masterpiece are gems and there's not one I favor over the others. They are all different and good in their own way. Three of the four tunes ("Melody for Melonae", "Rene", and "Omega") are originals written by Jackie. Interestingly enough, those three tunes are all written about members of McLean's family ("Melody for Melonae" is about his daughter, "Rene" is about his son, and "Omega is about his mother. That can probably explain why his playing seems to be filled with such emotion during the duration of these tracks. "I'll Keep Loving You", the other track on this cd, is a rarely-done Bud Powell ballad. All of those people who consider McLean to be too rough of an alto player will change their minds immediately after hearing the coda on this track. His playing is so tender that it kills me every time I hear it! All four of the members of this ensemble are highlighted throughout, but this is definitely McLean's show and is one of the most personal albums he ever produced. So if you're a McLean fan, a fan of Coltrane, Shorter, or Coleman, or just dig jazz with feeling, then order this gem immediately!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By N. Dorward on January 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This album represents Jackie McLean's attempt to assimilate the "new thing" into his music. It's not a free jazz album by any means but it does escape the constricting confines of changes-based bop playing for a more pared-down kind of playing. It's basically a very personal hybrid of modal jazz & the more intuitive, directly emotional playing of Ornette Coleman. The compositions are all connected to people in McLean's life: "Melody for Melonae" & "Rene" concern his children, "Omega" is the middle name of his mother, & "I'll Keep Loving You" is a ballad by Bud Powell, whom McLean had worked with & who was in the middle of his final decline which led to his death a few years later. McLean's tone & playing have never been better caught on tape: the enormous biting sound with its idiosyncratic pitching, the hard-swinging, buttonholing solo lines, occasionally decorated with freak whistle notes; the ability to sustain extremely long solos without a falling-off of invention or power; the extraordinary out-of-tempo setpieces. Indeed, the completely out-of-tempo "I'll Keep Loving You" actually anticipates the kind of force Albert Ayler would put into a ballad, years before Ayler cut his first ESP disc. The other three tracks are (once the heads are stated) uptempo & mostly upbeat in feel, with "Rene" a particularly joyous performance.
The other reason to get this disc is the late Billy Higgins--this is possibly the best performance of his I've heard on disc, & perhaps not even on the classic Ornette Coleman sides does he play as well as this. -- Herbie Lewis is very good on bass, not a player I've encountered elsewhere.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By nadav haber on January 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Trying to pigeonhole this music is not an easy task, and maybe it is not necessary. Mclean grew up listening to Parker, and always retains some bebop in his playing. But, later influences, of Mingus and then Ornette Coleman, have encouraged him to find his own style. So he ventured on new territories and made some good music in the process.
This is not free jazz, because rhythmically Mclean is closer to bebop and hard bop, and because of Walter Davis' presence on the piano. What this music IS, is very expressive, original, and rich. Mclean is not a genious improvisor on the level of Coleman, Dolphy or Parker. But he has a lot to say, and a very attracrive way of saying it.
The four tracks are all interesting, and I especially like the first and the last. Sometimes it is obvious that Mclean goes into the high pitched shrieks involuntarily, as a result of his powerful blowing, but chooses to stay with them and add them as legitimate sounds.
It is interesting to note that the name of the cd is taken from the "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King, which was made a full year after the music was recorded. Since it is unlikely that King borrowed from Mclean, I suppose the album was named and released a long while after it was recorded.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Todd M. Stellhorn on September 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This was a very important album for Mr. McLean, as it was his first whole-hearted attempt to come to terms with the "freedom" that was emerging in jazz at the time. However eventhough Jackie admired some of the free jazz players and their music, he was disinclined to totally abandon the bebop (or by this time hardbop) that his mentor and hero Charlie Parker created. Combining aspects of both traditional bop (itself revolutionary for it's time) and more outside free playing would be his challenge during parts of the sixties (see "Destination Out!", "One Step Beyond", "Action", "New and Old Gospel", and particularly Grachan Moncur's "Evolution" to assess how it went). For McLean personally the new freedom of the music invigorated him, and it shows on these albums, as the one thing they all share is the sustained, jagged passion of his playing. Some might call it abrasive, but for me the word to use is most definitely passionate to describe the sound of Jackie's alto, as he emerged from under Parker's tall shadow hovering over the instrument. On this album, and on the track "Omega" in particular, we can see the wisdom of walking the tightrope of structure and chaos, something McLean would do often over the aforementioned series of albums to come.Read more ›
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