Jackie McLean: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes


Jackie McLean (alto sax)


Nature Boy (Blue Note 23273)

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Jackie McLean (alto sax), Cedar Walton (piano), Billy Higgins (drums),

David Williams (bass)


Composed by Jerome Kern & Otto Harbach


Recorded: New York, June 13, 1999


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Here is a very romantic performance by the often acerbic altoist from his late vintage ballad album Nature Boy. McLean glides over the chords with a lush tone. Instead of angular phrases or sharp tuning, we get unabashed lyricism and even a touch of sentimentality. The top-notch hard-bop rhythm section decides to follow the leader, keeping things gentle. Walton offers an especially tasty piano solo. Those who aren't familiar with this artist will want to check out his earlier Blue Note releases first. But McLean fans will enjoy this glimpse of a different facet of the altoist's musical personality.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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