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One Step Beyond Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, February 10, 2009
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1. This is one of a slew of sessions "Anthony" Williams recorded in 1963 (including the companion piece to this album, Grachan Moncur III's _Evolution_, which features the same band, give or take a Lee Morgan) but it is, to my ears, the first recorded evidence of Tony playing in the style for which he would soon become famous. The authority and invention he brings to the drumkit on these four tunes is breathtaking.
2. This is the best showcase for the brittle, nervous trombone of Grachan Moncur III that I've heard; his solos are uniformly compelling. He also writes two great tunes, of which the eerily insistent waltz "Frankenstein" is the best-known.
3. The interplay between Williams and Hutcherson anticipates their early peak on Eric Dolphy's _Out to Lunch_. Moncur's _Evolution_ has a similar quality, but the material here is stronger, and the performances fresher and sharper. If you're a Dolphy fan, these records should sound pleasantly familiar. Remember, though - McLean's band came first!
And, of course...
4. Jackie absolutely burns it up. His solos are much more focused than - and yet just as adventurous as - those on the overrated _Let Freedom Ring_. "Saturday and Sunday" is especially riveting. The alternate take is rewarding as well. And I love his bluesy stroll through "Ghost Town."
This should rocket to the top of your list of McLean albums to buy right away. I like the collaboration with Ornette Coleman, _New and Old Gospel_, just as much, but this is definitely the place to start for McLean.
To me, Mclean did not feel comfortable in this new form as he did in bebop or hard bop. His sound is as great as ever, but I hear in his lines an uncertainty of direction.
The other musicians, Grachan Moncur on trombone, Eddie Kahn on bass and Tony Williams on drums, are at the top of their game. Williams is just so great at these open structures, and Moncur reminds me here of his playing on his own album - "evolution".
This is a mind opener CD, but it is not as great as Out To Lunch, Miles Smiles, Firebirds, or Evolution. Still, any serious collection of 60's jazz should have it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
eventually blue note decided to reprint this fantastic cd! unfortunately there are no extra tracks, but who cares? this wonderful cd is really a golden one. Read morePublished on March 25, 2009 by massimo pulleghini
THE MUSIC CONTAINED HERE ALONG WITH JACKIE'S "DESTINATION OUT" SESSION WITH THE SAME PERSONEL CAN BE FOUND ON GRACHAN MONCUR III'S MOSAIC 3CD BOXED SET. Read morePublished on October 13, 2007 by John M.
I admire this album for its beautifully written compositions, fresh and daring solos, and the amazing chemistry among the musicians. Read morePublished on September 23, 2001 by Antonio Montana