“New Soil is arguably among the finest sounding 45 rpm Blue Note jazz album reissues to date from Analogue Productions. Showcasing the magical touch of engineering genius Rudy Van Gelder, it appears that these master tapes have stood the test of time far better than many others…the album simply exudes transparency, studio presence and lack of distortion.” – Myles B. Astor, Positive Feedback, September/October 2011
Analogue Productions’ Blue Note and Nat “King” Cole Reissues WIN A Positive Feedback 2010 Brutus Award!
“…if you haven’t picked up every one of the Blue Note and Nat King Cole reissues from Chad Kassem and company at Acoustic Sounds, you’re really missing out!” – David W. Robinson, Positive Feedback, Issue 52
New Soil wasn’t the first session Jackie McLean recorded for Blue Note, but it was the first one released, and as the title suggests, the first glimpses of McLean’s desire to push beyond the limits of bop are already apparent. They’re subtle, of course, and nowhere near as pronounced, as they would be in just a few years’ time, but – as with the 1959 material later issued on Jackie’s Bag – hints of Ornette Coleman’s stream-of-consciousness melodic freedom are beginning to find their way into McLean’s improvisations. His playing is just a touch more angular than the ear expects, especially given the very bluesy nature of pieces like McLean’s 11-minute vamp, “Hip Strut,” and pianist Walter Davis Jr.’s infectious boogie-woogie “Greasy.” Coleman’s influence is most apparent on McLean’s “Minor Apprehension,” where the freewheeling, Coleman-esque main theme is paralleled by trumpeter Donald Byrd in a definite nod to Don Cherry.