Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Jackie McLean

  • New Wine in Old Bottles [Inner City, 1979] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

New Wine in Old Bottles [Inner City, 1979]
The first side of Monuments, the funk record RCA has put out with McLean, is more than passable--although the tunes are ordinary and the groove is a little dead, McLean puts out and the groove isn't that dead. But Monument has jazzbos up in arms, and this record is why--the best McLean album in over a decade and it's not on a "major" label. The saxophonist's work here surpasses that on his European SteepleChase outings because the rhythm section of Hank Jones, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams encourages him to think as fast as he can play, which is plenty fast. He thinks just fine when he slows down, too, although Joe Raposo's "Bein' Green" is unworthy of him. Yet another reason Charlie Parker played bebop. A-