A highly talented alto, Jackie McLean career began early, under the influence of a few neighbours - Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell, no less.
After some impressive interventions as a sideman, he recorded intensely for Prestige, then Blue Note during the 60's.
Serving time for bad habits, then being trashed by Blue Note like many other avant-guarde artists led him to refocus on live prestations, and education during the 70's.
A strong friendship with Charles Mingus also gave some fine moments recorded under Mingus name.
Beginner's best pick is possibly Vertigo, or the excellent and adventurous Let Freedom Ring.