Harlem in the Himalayas Continues into Spring Celebrating Jackie McLean at the Rubin Museum


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The Jazz Museum in Harlem
104 E.126th Street
New York, N.Y. 10035

Harlem in the Himalayas Continues into Spring Celebrating Jackie McLean at the Rubin Museum

4/21 - Ren McLean with a tribute to his father, Jackie McLean
5/19 - Jack Walrath
6/2 - Ron Blake
6/9 - Gene Bertoncini (solo guitar)
7/7 - Vijay Iyer

Plus five more concerts through July 28.

New York, NY--The Rubin Museum of Art (RMA) in Chelsea and the Jazz Museum in Harlem continue their hugely successful concert series with a special tribute to the late alto saxophone legend Jackie McLean, on Friday, April 21, 2006, by his son, multi-instrumentalist Ren McLean.

In the mid-50s Jackie McLean was acclaimed as an heir to the legacy left by the great alto sax genius Charlie Parker. The Harlem native grew up in a musical family and performed with his friend Sonny Rollins from 1948-49 in a Harlem neighborhood band under the tutelage of pianist Bud Powell; through Powell, McLean met bebop pioneer Charlie “Bird" Parker.

His first recording came at the age of 19 on Miles Davis' Dig album, which featured Rollins, and heralded the start of the hard-bop style. In the 1950s, McLean also played with Charles Mingus and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, experiences that helped him find his own style.

McLean made his first recording as a leader in 1955, and drew wide attention with his 1959 debut on Blue Note Records, Jackie's Bag, one of dozens of albums he recorded in the hard-bop and free jazz styles for the label over and eight year period. On his 1962 album Let Freedom Ring he performed with avant-garde musicians.

McLean began teaching at the University of Hartford in 1968, providing instruction in jazz, African-American music, and African- American history and culture. The university's African American Music Department was later was named in his honor.

He took a break from recording for much of the 1980s to focus on his work as a music educator, but made his recording comeback in 1988 with Dynasty, and later re-signed with Blue Note. His last Blue Note recordings included Fire and Love (1998), featuring his youthful Macband with son Ren McLean on tenor saxophone, and the ballads album Nature Boy (2000).

Ren McLean studied alto with his father and Sonny Rollins from the age of nine. He played baritone and later alto with Tito Puente for three years in the early '70s and also worked with Sam Rivers, Lionel Hampton, and with his father in the Cosmic Brotherhood. McLean played in the mid-'70s in a quintet with Woody Shaw and Louis Hayes, started touring with Hugh Masekela in 1978, settled in South Africa in 1985, led his own group, and in the late '80s through the '90s, recorded with his father. Ren McLean has also led his own albums for the SteepleChase (1975) and Triloka (1993) labels.

Fronting a quartet, Ren will play flute as well as soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones along with Alan J. Palmer (piano), Deron Douglass (bass), and Emanuelle Harold (drums) at the Rubin Museum of Art on April 21, 2006.

Ren McLean's performance replaces the originally scheduled performance for April 21st by Gene Bertoncini, who will now appear on June 9, 2006.

The all-acoustic jazz combo concerts are held Friday nights at 7 p.m. and are part of RMA's new K2 Lounge in which a bar, DJ, contemporary artist tours and six floors of Himalayan art are all part of the experience. Happy Hour is offered from 6-7 p.m. in the K2 Lounge. Movies from the Fakir & Faker film series follow the concerts at 9:30 p.m. and are free with a $7 bar minimum.

The jazz concerts are curated by Executive Director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem, Loren Schoenberg and present a range of jazz interpreters - last Friday, senior saxophone colossus and jazz flute pioneer Frank Wess played with grit and grace in a quartet.

Each week the artists play off of RMA's current exhibition “Holy Madness: Portraits of Tantric Siddhas."

Rubin Museum of Art 150 West 17th Street (corner of 7th Ave.) http://www.rmanyc.org

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of the performance, and include admission to the Museum's galleries. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 212.620.5000 ext. 344. RMA is dedicated to the art of the Himalayas and opened sixteen months ago; the Jazz Museum is four years into its community and educational programs, and is in the process of acquiring a permanent home in Harlem. Their very successful HARLEM SPEAKS series is held bi- weekly in their Harlem offices.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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