[JPL] Funeral of Jackie McLean

Bobby Jackson ftapache1 at sbcglobal.net
Sun Apr 9 00:32:17 EDT 2006

Thanks for this post Tom.  I wished I could've been there.

Bobby Jackson
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Reney" <tr at wfcr.org>
To: "jazz programmer's list" <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2006 4:52 PM
Subject: [JPL] Funeral of Jackie McLean


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I attended the funeral of John Linwood "Jackie" McLean in New York 
yesterday. J Mac died on Friday, March 31 at age 74. The Abyssian Baptist 
Church was nearly full to capacity for a service that included eulogies by 
Jackie's daughter-in-law Thandiwe January McLean, who is the South African 
Ambassador to Portugal; television producer Gilbert Noble; and Abyssian's 
pastor, the Reverend Dr. Calvin Butts III. Jimmy Heath played "'Round 
Midnight," and Eunice Newkirk sang "Amazing Grace."  A proclamation in 
Jackie's memory was offered by a representative of the City of Hartford. 
Jackie's recordings of "You Taught My Heart to Sing" and "I'll Keep Loving 
You" accompanied the Processional and Recessional, respectively. The funeral 
was a subdued celebration of the life of an uncompromising jazz artist and a 
survivor of drug addiction who turned his life around and became a devoted 
teacher and mentor to two generations of musicians.

Gil Noble's eulogy described the odyssey of two black men whose lives and 
sensibilities were shaped by a succession of personal experiences and 
historical events. Noble, the veteran producer of "Like It Is" on ABC-TV in 
New York, and a lifelong friend of J Mac, recounted boyhood pranks, 
including Jackie's mischievous skills as a "ventriloquist;" their adolescent 
discovery of "big foot" music by jump blues stars like Louis Jordan and 
Jimmy Liggins; the profound impact of hearing an early Charlie Parker 
"yellow label" Dial recording on a neighborhood juke box; of Jackie exposing 
him to the horrors of a shooting gallery such that Noble stayed clean of 
drugs; of hearing the stirring rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr. in an 
address to a Baptist congregation in Harlem; and of the challenging message 
of Malcolm X.

As a pioneering African-American in the world of network television, Noble's 
career paralleled Jackie's trailblazing work in bringing jazz to the music 
curriculum at the University of Hartford. His remarks were peppered with a 
good deal of tongue-in-cheek humor. And his call for a special moment of 
recognition for Jackie's widow Dolly brought the cheering congregation to 
its feet.

The Reverend Butts recalled an encounter with Jackie in a hotel lobby in 
Pittsburgh, where Butts had traveled to conduct a wedding ceremony for a 
church member. J Mac walked by him several times before stopping to say, 
"Reverend Butts, right?" Butts was so impressed with the all-star group that 
Jackie was appearing with that night at the University of Pittsburgh that he 
wished he could have been in two places at once.

His eulogy centered around the question, "How can you sing the Lord's song 
in a strange land?" "You can if you know the Lord," Butts answered, then 
expounded an eloquent appreciation for the unique song that African 
Americans have sung and played in this strange land called America. He 
thanked Dolly for bringing the Harlem native "home" for the funeral and 
burial (in Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx) and acknowledged their enduring 
marriage as a key ingredient in bringing them through numerous trials and 

Among dozens of familiar faces, I recognized Billy Harper, Larry Ridley, 
Mulgrew Miller, Steve Davis, Jimmy Greene, Billy Taylor, James Carter, 
Stanley Crouch, Larry Willis, Mary DePaola Davis, and Cameron Brown.  A 
memorial service for Jackie will take place in Hartford at a later date.


This week's sponsor: Jaco Pastorius  -  The Word Is Out! (Heads Up 


Jaco Pastorius  -  The Word Is Out! (Heads Up International)


The Word Is Out! features: Jaco Pastorius, Gerald Veasley, Victor Wooten,
Richard Bona, Jimmy Haslip, Jeff Carswell, Israel ''Cachao'' Lopez, Jr.,
Mark Egan, Oteil Burbridge, Will Lee, Randy Brecker, Arturo Sandoval,
Hiram Bullock, Mike Stern, Ed Calle, Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine,
Robert Thomas, Jr., Othello Molineaux and Toots Thielmans

''Most musicians that I know absolutely appreciate the contribution Jaco 
Pastorius made to music. I feel like every year, his memory gets stronger. 
It's up to us to make sure folks don't forget.''

Marcus Miller

Following the success of Word of Mouth Revisited, the critically acclaimed 
and award winning 2003 release on Heads Up International, the Jaco Pastorius 
Big Band has crafted a second chapter in their ongoing tribute to the 
brilliant legacy of the bassist/composer/arranger from whom they've taken 
their name. The Word Is Out!

On this second outing, the Jaco Pastorius Big Band again addresses Jaco's 
compositional genius, this time with newly expanded arrangements of pieces 
that harken back to 1976, that pivotal year in Jaco's career when he 
appeared on three near-simultaneous releases - Weather Report's Black 
Market, Pat Metheny's Bright Size Life and his own self-titled debut - that 
stand today as major landmarks in his fabled career.

Set for international release on Heads Up on March 28, 2006 Radio Promotion: 
Neal Sapper nsapper at headsup.com and Mike Hurzon (co-producer of the project) 
trackst at bellsouth.net


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