Parker“Lover Man” is one of the torchiest and bluesy of all ballads. It is not a true blues, but it has many elements of the blues and a set of lyrics that portrays a great deal of sadness and longing. It has been recorded primarily by female vocalists, but there are many great instrumental recordings of this ballad. The alto sax falls in the range of many female vocalists and this is probably why is has been recorded by so many great alto players.

Lover Man - Episode 1

On this podcast I have picked five classic interpretations of the composition as performed by some of the most renowned alto saxophonists starting with Charlie Parker’s infamous 1946 version. Each instrumentalist injects their style of phrasing and nuance into the performance. They have to compensate for the fact that the lyrics are not presented to the listeners.
Lover ManCharlie Parker1946
Lover ManLee Konitz/Gerry MulliganGerry Mulligan Quartet Plus Lee Konitz1953
Lover ManJackie McLeanNew Traditions1955
Lover ManCannonball AdderleyCannonball en Route1957
Lover ManSonny Stitt/Don PattersonSoul Electricity1968

Lover Man - Episode 2

Lover ManDon Byasca. 1953
Lover ManBillie Holiday/Toots Camerata Orchestra1944
Lover ManSarah Vaughan TrioSwingin’ Easy1954
Lover ManBlossom DearieBlossom Dearie1956
Lover ManCarmen McRaeSings Lover Man and Other Billie Holiday Classics1961
Lover ManEtta JamesMystery Lady—The Songs of Billie Holiday1994

Jackie McLean

mclean 3Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean (1931-2006) was raised in a musical family and also a New York neighborhood full of well-respected musicians. As a young musician he was mentored by Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker. He possessed a distinctive tone, closer to the tenor saxophone and sometimes described as piercing or searing. He was also a great interpreter of the blues. His earliest recordings were made when he was still in his teens.

Jackie McLean - Episode 1

Sentimental JourneyJackie McLean4 5 and 61956
Tempus FugitBud PowellJazz Legacy of Bud Powell1949
Blowing the Blues AwayBilly EckstineOrchestra1944
KokoCharlie ParkerBird in Time (live radio)ca.1947
DigMiles DavisDig1951
UpJackie McLeanLights Out!1956
OutburstJackie McLeanJackie McLean Quartet1957

Jackie McLean - Episode 2

McLean was under contract with Blue Note Records from 1959 to 1967, having previously recorded for Prestige. Blue Note offered better pay and more artistic control than other jazz labels. His work on Blue Note is highly regarded and includes leadership and sideman dates with a wide range of musicians, including Donald Byrd, Sonny Clark, Lee Morgan, Billy Higgins, Freddie Hubbard, Grachan Moncur III, Bobby Hutcherson, Mal Waldron, and many others. He later became an exponent of modal jazz without abandoning his foundation in hard bop.
Davis CupJackie McLeanNew Soil1959
Hip StrutJackie McLeanNew Soil1959
Minor ApprehensionJackie McLeanNew Soil1959
QuadrangleJackie McLeanJackie's Bag1959
Appointment In GhanaJackie McLeanJackie's Bag1960
Isle of JavaJackie McLeanJackie's Bag1960

Jackie McLean - Episode 3

In 1962 he recorded Let Freedom Ring for Blue Note. This album was the culmination of attempts he had made over the years to deal with harmonic problems in jazz, incorporating ideas from the free jazz developments of Ornette Coleman. He performed with young avant-garde jazz musicians rather than the veteran hard bop performers he had been playing with previously. His adaptation of modal and free jazz innovations to his vision of hard bop made his recordings distinctive.
VertigoJackie McLeanVertigo1963
OmegaJackie McLeanLet Freedom Ring1962
Khalil the ProphetJackie McLeanDestination Out1963
MarneyJackie McLeanVertigo1963
On The NileJackie McLeanJacknife1965
ClimaxJackie McLeanJacknife1965