Jackie McLean — Capuchin Swing

As record collector on a limited budget I’m always looking for reasonably priced versions of the classic jazz, blues, and soul records I’d like to own.  As far as the Blue Note label goes, that means early Liberty pressings, 1970’s pressings, nice modern reissues, and even (gasp) a clean CD copy.  Every now and then I go on our favorite auction site and specifically search for Japanese reissues of these classics.  I have several in my collection and they generally sound quite good, although I find the early Liberty’s as much or more enjoyable.

A while back I found a seller with a bunch of clean (more recent?) Toshiba reissues and I bid away.  As usual I was outbid on most of them but I did snag Jackie McLean’s 1960 session Capuchin Swing.  In addition to checking out the music, I was looking forward to comparing this to the nice sounding King-era Japanese reissues I have.  I like the music quite a bit, but I can’t say this measures up sonically.  It sounds ok for sure, but doesn’t have the life or dimension to it that I was hoping for.  I’d say it’s comparable to a good CD, but not a great deal for the $20 I have in it.

Prior to getting this I had only heard McLean’s excellent Destination OutCapuchin Swing is decidedly more in the hard-bop style, with Blue Mitchell (tp), Walter Bishop Jr. (p), Paul Chambers (bs), and Art Taylor (dr) in tow.  He takes a long solo on the opening cut, which is included below, with his aggressive tone and some adventureous phrases in the latin sections giving a nod to the direction he was heading.

(Details: Blue Note BST 84038 stereo/Toshiba Japanese reissue)

Jackie McLean – Francisco (stereo – Japanese reissue)

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4 Responses to Jackie McLean — Capuchin Swing

  1. Phil says:

    Thanks for your insight and your honesty. I’m in a similar camp in terms of budget, so it’s good to know how different reissues stack up. I almost purchased either a Toshiba or King pressing of this very record – can’t remember – but either way it’s nice to be informed. So you find the Kings to be a bit more lively, while the Toshiba is comparable to CD quality?

    • vinyltim says:

      Sure. I found that in this case, although I think that this is a newer Toshiba. As I understand it there are older ones as well–maybe they are different? This one that I got is by no means horrible–check the clip–I just don’t know that it’s worth the $ in comparison to other options.

  2. Congratulations on snagging the ONLY main McLean Blue Note I don’t have, on BN, Liberty or Japanese. Good choice. McLean is always good to listen to.

    • vinyltim says:

      Thanks. Agreed–I’ll be looking for more. I’ve had bad luck with bids lately and haven’t been hitting the bins.

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