Steven Lugerner | JACKNIFE (The Music of Jackie McLean)

Track Listing

1. On The Nile
2. Das Dat
3. Cancellation
4. Climax
5. Melody for Melonae
6. Hip Strut


Weaned on bebop and enthralled by the rhythmic freedom unleashed by Ornette Coleman at the end of the 1950s, alto saxophonist Jackie McLean was the rare jazz giant who engaged deeply with two musical revolutions. While McLean is revered as a post-bop pioneer, his music is seldom tackled by 21st-century players, a situation that San Francisco multi-instrumentalist Steven Lugerner is looking to change with his searing new Primary Records album JACKNIFE: The Music of Jackie McLean.

A polymorphously creative improviser who has recorded a series of acclaimed albums exploring original music interpreted by heavyweights like pianist Myra Melford, drummer Matt Wilson, and pianist Fred Hersch, Lugerner has an impressive track record of creating singular musical settings. For JACKNIFE, he recruited a cadre of twentysomething musicians who forged tight bonds at the Stanford Jazz Workshop (where Lugerner now works as Manager of Education Programs). Featuring pianist Richard Sears, bassist Garret Lang, drummer Michael Mitchell, and trumpeter JJ Kirkpatrick, the album draws on compositions from McLean’s era-defining Blue Note recordings, circa 1959-1965.