“Lights Out” was Jackie McLean’s debut album for Prestige Records (PRLP 7035) recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in January 1956 and released in June the same year. As the title suggests the session was recorded in the studio with the lights dimmed, both to help relax the musicians and create the atmosphere of an early hours laid back club jam. This live vibe is perfectly captured on the recording; McLean’s playing is both fluid, effortless and has great depth.
McLean was born in 1931 in New York City; with his father playing guitar in The Tiny Bradshaw Orchestra he was introduced to jazz from an early age. Following his fathers death in 1939 his musical education was extended informally to a number of different teachers; including jazz greats such as Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell and Charlie Parker. During High School he also played in a band with Sonny Rollins and Kenny Drew. At the age of just 20 McLean featured on a session recorded in October 1951 with Miles Davis & Sonny Rollins, originally released in 1952 as two 10” LPs on Prestige, then later combined on the famous 1956 LP “Dig” (PRLP 7012). McLean’s debut release as leader at the age of 25 was “Presenting Jackie McLean “ released on the obscure Ad Lib label (1955). This early session also included Donald Byrd and Doug Watkins (later to be reunited here again on “Lights Out”).
McLean later signed to Blue Note records in 1959 where he released a large number of solo albums which established him as a major player from the golden era of Jazz Bop. This album, perhaps an overlooked classic, is an early studio session recording that is an excellent introduction to the distinctive tone of the youthful McLean. Backed by top tier side men including Donald Byrd on trumpet, the outstanding Elmo Hope on piano, Doug Watkins on bass and Arthur Taylor on drums it really is an essential album for any serious jazz collector.
The pre-release price of this edition will be £300* and is available to order now directly from our website.