Review - Action

Artist: Jackie McLean


Despite his explosive skills on alto sax, Jackie McLean has been marginalized as a player, and stellar albums like Action boast a sadly small (but thankfully fervent) audience of appreciation. Straddling the border between post-bop, free-bop and reckless improvisation, Action (recorded in 1964!) is a startling album for its time, boasting fiery performances from young players like Charles Tolliver, Cecil McBee and Bobby Hutcherson. It depends heavily on far-reaching improvisations by superskilled players, and McLean's alto work (especially on the opening title cut) is spot-on, as usual. This overdue reissue benefits from a Rudy Van Gelder remastering, but includes no bonus tracks.