Cadence Magazine - JACKNIFE REVIEW

“STEVEN LUGERNER’s new release is JACKKNIFE: The Music Of Jackie McLean [Primary Records] with his quintet [JJ Kirkpatrick-tpt, Richard Sears-p, Garret Lang-b, Michael Mitchell-drm]. This does not so much bring McLean to mind as that of a mid 1960s Blue Note date. The reference here is of McLean of that period, not his wilder/ looser Prestige days. 4 of the 6 tracks [40:54] are by McLean while the other 2 are by Charles Tolliver. Lugerner plays his alto in the lower registers, while Sears is an interesting player combining some of Tyner’s modal rounds with a darker Waldronish repetitive quality—he doesn’t seem to be tied into one direction…yet. Trumpeter Kirkpatrick’s lyricism reminds me a bit of early Don Byrd in his pre-electric period. If you’re a fan of McLean’s middle period of writing/playing then this will please your ears beyond nostalgia.”

- Bob Rusch (Cadence Magazine) - July 2016 Issue

To many of us John Lenwood McLean was a jazz deity. As Jackie McLean he left his unmistakable sound in the corners of our minds with a tarttoned timbre that just screamed “New York!” to us poor unfortunates stuck out in the hinterlands. Like all great hornmen there was no mistaking him once he sounded his clarion call. Frisco woodwinder Lugerner is joined by four young rookies from the Stanford Jazz Workshop for a program of six tunes associated with Jackie Mac. That is my only problem with this album; only one-half of the selections were written by the honoree with two (On The Nile & Cancellation) from Charles Tolliver and “Climax” by Jack DeJohnette. So therefore the title of this album is somewhat misleading. Of the other three numbers, “Das Dat” & “Hip Strut” are fairly well-known and “Melody For Melonae” is a certified classic. All of the players acquit themselves well and Lugerner, to his credit, doesn’t attempt to emulate McLean’s trademarked sound. If this turns some young jazzheads on to this under-appreciated player then it will have served its purpose. 

- Larry Hollis (Cadence Magazine) - July 2016 Issue

photo, photoBeth Beauchamp