Jackie McLean, Original, Glossy, B & W, 8" by 10", Blue Note Records Publicity Still, SIGNED and inscribed "To Tommy" by the great alto saxophonist at the bottom left in black ink; a scarce early photograph and autograph of McLean, from the late 50's -early 60's, at the beginning of his distinguished tenure with Blue Note. Originally from the collection of Ernest "Tommy" Tucker, who compiled an extraordinary jazz autograph collection from the 1940s - 1960s; a Pittsburgh native, Tucker knew many of the musicians in the local jazz community which gave him access to the visiting jazz luminaries; and his friend, the gifted photographer Teenie Harris, who copiously documented African American life in Pittsburgh, often provided Tucker with copies of his jazz photographs.
Jackie McLean (1931-2006) was a prodigy, recording with Miles Davis at 20 and soon after with Charles Mingus and as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. In 1959, around the time this photograph was taken, McLean was signed to Blue Note where he recorded prolifically as a sideman, and as a leader released classic albums including Jackie's Bag and Let Freedom Ring. A heroin addict in his teens, unlike so many of his contemporaries, McLean managed to rid himself of the addiction, and in his later years became an esteemed educator; establishing an African American Music Dept at the University of Hartford and with his wife, the Artists Collective Inc. in Hartford, dedicated to preserving the art and culture of African Americans. McLean was elected to the Downbeat Hall of Fame in 2006, the year in which he died. The photograph is near fine, with light scattered surface dings, verso is clean and unmarked; the inscription in black ink is about fine with a touch of brushing to the y in Tommy. Very uncommon vintage photograph, signed by a jazz great, in collectible condition. J1959