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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Destination Out: Grachan Moncur And Jackie McLean

We'll hear a melding of 1950s bop sensibility with the new ideas and approaches so prevalent in the jazz world of the early 1960s.

In 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.

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