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Jackie McLean's Death Ends Decades of Inspired Jazz

Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean has died. Coming of age in the shadow of Charlie Parker, McLean mastered that saxophonist's style of bebop and went on to become an early advocate of the free jazz movement of the 1960s. McLean's performing and recording career spanned more than five decades. In 2000, the Hartt School of Music was renamed the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz.

In 2001, McLean was recognized as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. That same year, he was inducted into Downbeat magazine's Jazz Education Hall of Fame. McLean died Friday at his home in Hartford, Conn., after a long illness. He was 73 years old.

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Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.