Saturday, April 01, 2006

jackie mclean has left us

jazz great and hartford resident jackie mclean has passed. he will be missed

Jazz alto saxophonist Jackie McLean dies at 73
By Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press Writer March 31, 2006
HARTFORD, Connecticut --Jazz alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, a performer and educator who played with legendary musicians including Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, died Friday. He was 73.
McLean, a contemporary of some of the 20th century's most famed jazz musicians, died at his Hartford home after a long illness, family members told The Hartford Courant.
McLean was founder and artistic director of the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the University of Hartford's Hartt School. He and his wife, actress Dollie McLean, also founded the Artists Collective, a community center and fine arts school in Hartford's inner city primarily serving troubled youth.
University of Hartford President Walter Harrison said Dollie McLean called him Friday with news of her husband's death.
Harrison said that despite his many musical accomplishments, McLean was a modest man whose connections with his students lasted for decades after they left his classroom.
"He fully understood the way that jazz as an art should be passed down to students," Harrison said. "He saw his role as bringing jazz from the 1950s and '60s and handing it down to artists of today."
McLean, a native of Harlem in New York City, grew up in a musical family, his father playing guitar in Tiny Bradshaw's band. McLean took up the soprano saxophone as a teen and quickly switched to the alto saxophone, inspired by his godfather's performances in a church choir, he told WBGO-FM in Newark, New Jersey, in an interview in 2004.
McLean went on to play with his friend Rollins from 1948-49 in a Harlem neighborhood band under the tutelage of pianist Bud Powell. Through Powell, McLean met bebop pioneer Charlie "Bird" Parker, who became a major influence on the young alto saxophonist.............

and stan simpson's column from the hartford courant

Sax Master Never Lost His Passion
April 1, 2006
I was always fond of telling folks that the great Jackie McLean - Hartford guy and jazz legend - is recognized as the greatest living alto saxophone player in the world.I was talking about the future of Hartford Thursday to political science professor Darryl McMiller's class at the University of Hartford. I reminded the students that McLean, director of UHart's Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, was one of the campus' premiere assets.He brought the university cultural cachet and worldwide jazz credibility in his three decades there. At the same time, McLean and wife, Dollie, became Hartford's first couple of the arts. They founded the Artists Collective, and opened a sterling building on Albany Avenue, a few blocks from campus. Hundreds of city and suburban children are trained there each year.................


Niranjan Jhaveri said...

Re: Jackie McLean who died last Friday 31st March. I knew Jackie. He called me 3 times to Hartt School of Music (Hartford CT) to do my workshops on Indian vocal techniques for jazz. Jackie was sitting at the back of a class of some 30 students. When I came to the 22 srutis (microtones) we have in Indian music in one octave - we have flatter flats and sharper sharps - microtones which for the Western world is unthinkable. Just then Jackie rushed up on stage and interrupted me saying "I have been playing such notes since a long time. The other musicians accused me of playing out of tune. But I WANT to play 'out of tune'. Now I find that in this great Indian musical culture they actually TEACH students to play 'out of tune' !!" Jackie, even before Miles Davis, played modal jazz although Miles made is famous and more acceptable. Modal jazz has srutis - like Indian ragas.

a rose is a rose said...

having lived in the hartford area, i ran into the mcleans at many diffent places. unfortunately, we never actually met.

how wonderful you got to do workshops with him! i studied at hartt too (well took a few classes over the year, i never went full time). i have a great interest in indian music. i'm not too familiar with the ins and outs of it, but i have always been fond of it. i look forward to reading your blog niranjan