Night Lights Classic Jazz

Destination Out: Grachan Moncur and Jackie McLean

Jackie McLeanIn December 1962 Jackie McLean went to play a gig in Boston with a local rhythm section. That local section included a 17-year-old drummer named Tony Williams, who would return with McLean to New York a week later to begin a phenomenal career that would include a long stint with Miles Davis’ 1960s quintet. McLean also joined forces with Grachan Moncur, a trombonist who had played with both the Jazztet and Ray Charles (and whose father played bass in the Savoy Sultans, one of the great and lesser-known Harlem swing bands). McLean, Moncur, Williams, and young vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson would band together over the next year to record some of the most smoldering hard-bop records in the annals of jazz–One Step Beyond, Destination Out, and Evolution (on which Lee Morgan joined them). The style they forged came to be called “avant-bop” by some–a melding of 1950s bop sensibility with the new ideas and approaches so prevalent in the jazz world of the early 1960s. We’ll hear music from all of those albums as well as tracks from Hipnosis, a 1967 session that went unreleased for many years.

Music Heard On This Episode

Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes
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Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes

Notes: Opening theme.

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Blue Rondo
Grachan Moncur/Jackie McLean — One Step Beyond

Notes: Jackie McLean composition.

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Frankenstein
Grachan Moncur/Jackie McLean — One Step Beyond

Notes: Grachan Moncur composition.

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Love and Hate
Grachan Moncur/Jackie McLean — Destination Out

Notes: Grachan Moncur composition.

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Air Raid
Grachan Moncur/Jackie McLean — Evolution

Notes: Grachan Moncur composition. Lee Morgan appears on this track.

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The Breakout
Grachan Moncur/Jackie McLean — Hipnosis

Notes: Jackie McLean composition.

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Back Home
Grachan Moncur/Jackie McLean — Hipnosis

Notes: Grachan Moncur composition.

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The Coaster
Grachan Moncur/Jackie McLean — Evolution

Notes: Grachan Moncur composition.

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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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