℗ © 2014 Concord Music Group, Inc.
Jackie McLean - alto sax
Hank Mobley - tenor sax (#4-6)
Donald Byrd - trumpet (#3-4)
Mal Waldron - piano
Doug Watkins - bass
Art Taylor - drums
Recorded July 13 and 20, 1956 in Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ
24-bit digital remastering by Rudy Van Gelder
Produced by Bob Weinstock
This album of ballads and burners features sax man Jackie McLean in various small-group combinations. He is joined on three numbers by Hank Mobley and on two numbers by Donald Byrd (one of those numbers also including Mobley). The other three cuts are jazz quartets. Thus, the album title refers to the three personnel configurations used over the two recording dates.
This was McLean's third album as leader and second for Prestige. The LP at the time helped to establish McLean on the jazz scene. Writing in the original notes, Ira Gitler said, "Jackie McLean is musically coming of age. His playing, out of Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, has become a personalized, more individual voice in 1956 and he has not lost any of the basic emotion, swinging qualities that help his style live up to the second syllable of his last name so well."
"I was the engineer on the recording sessions and I also made the masters for the original LP issues of these albums. Since the advent of the CD, other people have been making the masters. Mastering is the final step in the process of creating the sound of the finished product. Now, thanks to the folks at the Concord Music Group who have given me the opportunity to remaster these albums, I can present my versions of the music on CD using modern technology. I remember the sessions well, I remember how the musicians wanted to sound, and I remember their reactions to the playbacks. Today, I feel strongly that I am their messenger."
-Rudy Van Gelder