Jackie McLean Bluesnik on XRCD
Mastered to XRCD from Rudy Van Gelder's Original Two-Track Analog Master Tapes!
One of the Best-Sounding Digital Releases You Will Ever Hear: Warm, Intricate, Transparent
Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Drew Part of All-Star Cast on Blue Note Classic
Jackie McLean's slightly acidic tone on alto can be instantly identified. He perfectly symbolizes the intensity, passion, excitement and urgency of New York in the 1960s. Born in 1932 and part of the musical generation that matured in the shadow of Charlie Parker, McLean served his apprenticeship at the very top, recording with the likes of Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and Art Blakey. However, McLean is best known for a brilliant series of Blue Note albums recorded from 1959-67.
Bluesnik is, on the surface, one of McLean's most accessible recordings, since the six songs are all blues-based. However, McLean remains quite explorative here, clearly inspired by his excellent sidemen (trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Pete La Roca). McLean stretches himself, showing every side of the blues. The results are exceptional to say the least. One listen to Bluesnik tells you that this is one of McLean's masterpiece recordings. Engineer Rudy Van Gelder was up to the challenge of this fine session, getting all of this passionate soul on tape with exceptional fidelity. Bluesnik is essential.
In handling one of jazz's all-time best-sounding recordings, Rudy Van Gelder's original Blue Note two-track analog tapes were meticulously mastered to XRCD by engineer Alan Yoshida and producer Joe Harley. This XRCD comes with deluxe hardbound book-style packaging with original liner notes and high resolution B&W session photos. The package alone is worth the investment. This edition of Bluesnik represents the highest-quality analog to digital transfers from tape to CD available, and is among the finest digital releases you will ever hear.
"...thanks to the XRCD process and the care that was taken transferring these albums directly from the original analog masters, these CDs have to be approaching the limit of what the compact disc is capable of resolving. Instrument timbre is stunningly real, and the amount of air and decay present on these recordings will make the uninitiated swear that there is a record playing on a turntable somewhere. I’ve never heard this music sound this good in any digital format."
-Jeff Dorgay, TONE Audio, Issue 26
“At $30 a pop, these XRCDs are expensive, although not as pricey as the same $50 vinyl sets! And while they may not equal the breathtaking sonics of the vinyl discs, they come very close. So close, in fact, that during one of my listening sessions I was prepared to get up and flip the LP to Side 2 – except I wasn’t listening to an LP but to an Alan Yoshida-mastered XRCD!”
- Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, June/July 2010
“JVC has examined the each step in XRCD CD mastering and manufacturing processes and designed specific equipment to improve those processes. Every combination of equipment, connections, AC power regulation, clocking, mastering format, and compact disc construction was evaluated technically and by listening tests.”
- Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound, June/July 2010
Jackie McLean Bluesnik Track Listing:
2. Goin' Way Blues
3. Drew's Blues
4. Cool Green
5. Blues Function