Jackie McLean – Let Freedom Ring


This classic quartet session from 1962 is a quintessential Jackie Mclean disc. Without having to share the front line with another horn, McLean is free to unleash his signature wail in the spotlight with ample support from Walter Davis, Herbie Lewis, and Billy Higgins. Like other McLean sessions of the period, Let Freedom Ring features first-rate compositions whose melodies give way to stirring solos that cover the full range of creative expression.

McLean is in his stride on the opening burner “Melody for Melonae,” which, after a very programmatic beginning, allows the saxophonist plenty of room to cut loose. Davis’s superb piano work on the ballad “I’ll Keep Loving You” provides a delightful backdrop to McLean’s expressive testimonial with wailing screams of emotion. “Rene,” named for McLean’s son, is a quirky tune that offers angular interaction between all members of the quartet and a driving performance by Higgins. Finally, the swinging “Omega” is one of McLean’s most dynamic compositions and closes the session on a stellar high.


01. Melody For Melonae
02. I’ll Keep Loving You
03. Rene
04. Omega

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