Important programming note: Good news! Suga’ in My Bowl is now on weekly on WBAI, except for the last Sunday of the month! That means more shows, more opportunities to work through the backlog of people we’d like to talk to, and more great jazz and interviews for our listeners! So update your calendars and please pass the word on to friends if you like the show. We’re largely a D.I.Y. operation and rely a lot on word of mouth for growing our listening base. Thanks, and keep listening!
The next show will air on Sunday November 10, 2013 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature an interview with saxophonist, flutist, multi-reed instrumentalist (and son of Jackie McLean) Renè McLean. Listen to a short preview below:
Born in New York City, Renè Profit-McLean (a/k/a Muhammad Al-Amien Abdul Kariem) world renowned Multi-reed Instrumentalist (Alto, Tenor, Soprano saxophone, Flutes, Ney, Shakuhachi), Composer, Band leader, Educator and Producer, began his musical training at the age of nine under the tutelage and guidance of his father, world renowned alto saxophonist and educator Jackie McLean. Renè recounts: “My father began giving me the saxophone in stages beginning with the mouth piece then the neck and finally the horn”. As an adolescent, the young McLean was already performing with local Jazz, R&B, Calypso, Latin and other bands of varied musical traditions, making his debut with Jackie McLean’s band in the early-1960’s as well as leading his own bands.
Renè McLean’s debut as a band leader and producer began at the age of 16 in August 1963 on New York City’s lower east side at the East River Park Amphitheater in a concert sponsored by Mobilization for Youth Inc. and produced by Renè featuring several bands of Young Lions of the era which included his group featuring : Larry Willis (Piano), Eddie Gale (Trumpet), Pete Pearson (vibes) and Alan Silver (Bass). In addition his band also played at the original world famous Birdland as part of Alan Grant’s Sunday afternoon Jazz series featuring young and up coming musicians, as well as being one of the first bands to perform at the famous lower eastside 60’s Jazz spot “ Slugs”. He later introduced the owners to Jackie McLean; that was the beginning of Jazz at Slug’s, the rest is history.
For five decades or more Renè McLean served as Protégé/Apprentice to Jackie McLean; twenty of those years as Musical Director to the numerous ensembles Jackie and Renè co-led. Renè McLean maintains an active travel/performance career leading his own band and various related projects. Renè is currently a Professor of African -American music on the faculty of the Jackie McLean Institute at the University of Hartford, and Master Artist /Director In -Resident of Music at the Artists Collective, Hartford CT. McLean has performed at many international & national festivals, conducted workshops and lectured at numerous universities and cultural programs in the U.S., Caribbean (including Cuba), as well as in South America, Europe, Lebanon, Japan, Indonesia, South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Mauritius. In 1990, the United States Information Agency invited and sponsored Renè McLean to perform and conduct workshop/lectures at the Jazz A Mada festival in Madagascar and Mauritius. In 1993 the United States Information Agency invited and sponsored the Jackie Mclean/Renè McLean Jazz Dynasty band to tour six Southern African Countries.
Renè McLean defines his music as “transcending socio-political and cultural boundaries—it’s a universal language.”
Produced, engineered, and edited by Joyce Jones. Hosted by Joyce Jones.
Remember to check out our On the Bandstand feature located on our blog for NYC Metro area listings of Suga’ guests.
Watch Renè McLean play with poet Amiri Baraka in this rendition of “So What”, recorded live in Italy in 2013.