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Milt Jackson

Before Milt Jackson, there were only two major vibraphonists: Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo. Jackson soon surpassed both of them in significance and, despite the rise of other players (including Bobby Hutcherson and Gary Burton), still won the popularity polls throughout the decades. Jackson (or "Bags" as he was long called) was at the top of his field for 50 years, playing bop, blues, and ballads with equal skill and sensitivity.

Milt Jackson started on guitar when he was seven, and piano at 11; a few years later, he switched to vibes. He actually made his professional debut singing in a touring gospel quartet. After Dizzy Gillespie discovered him playing in Detroit, he offered him a job with his sextet and (shortly after) his innovative big band (1946). Jackson recorded with Gillespie, and was soon in great demand. During 1948-1949, he worked with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. After playing with Gillespie's sextet (1950-1952), which at one point included John Coltrane, Jackson recorded with a quartet comprised of John Lewis, Percy Heath, and Kenny Clarke (1952), which soon became a regular group called the Modern Jazz Quartet. Although he recorded regularly as a leader (including dates in the 1950s with Miles Davis and/or Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, and Ray Charles), Milt Jackson stayed with the MJQ through 1974, becoming an indispensable part of their sound. By the mid-'50s, Lewis became the musical director and some felt that Bags was restricted by the format, but it actually served him well, giving him some challenging settings. And he always had an opportunity to jam on some blues numbers, including his "Bags' Groove." However, in 1974, Jackson felt frustrated by the MJQ (particularly financially) and broke up the group. He recorded frequently for Pablo in many all-star settings in the 1970s, and after a seven-year vacation, the MJQ came back in 1981. In addition to the MJQ recordings, Milt Jackson cut records as a leader throughout his career for many labels including Savoy, Blue Note (1952), Prestige, Atlantic, United Artists, Impulse, Riverside, Limelight, Verve, CTI, Pablo, Music Masters, and Qwest. He died of liver cancer on October 9, 1999, at the age of 76. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Jazz for a Lazy Day

1. You Leave Me Breathless

2. True Blues

3. Flamingo

4. Bluesology

5. So in Love

6. Love Me, Pretty

7. My Funny Valentine

8. Lillee

9. They Didn't Believe

10. Can't Help Lovin' That Man

11. D & E

12. I Should Care

13. Yesterdays

14. The Nearness of You

15. Round About Midnight

16. Solitude

17. Bag's Groove

18. These Foolish Things

19. Autumn Breeze

20. The Song Is Ended

x

Track List: Jazz Infusion

1. Epistrophy

2. Misterioso

3. Stonewall

4. Blue's Mood

5. Wonder Why

6. Inhibitions

7. Ignunt Oil

8. Blues At Twilight

9. Plenty Plenty Soul

10. Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man

11. I Mean You

12. Boogity Boogity

13. Heartstrings

14. The Spirit Feel

15. Telefunken Blues

16. Strollin'

17. Klook's Nook

18. Baggin' The Blues

19. Angel Face

20. Skoot

21. Sonor

x

Track List: Statements / Jazz 'n' Samba

9. Blues For Juanita

10. I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good

11. Big George

12. Gingerbread Boy

13. Jazz 'n' Samba

14. The Oo-Oo Bossa Nova

15. I Love You

16. Kiss & Run

17. Jazz Bossa Nova

x

Track List: Roll Em Bags

1. Conglomeration

2. Bruz

3. You Go To My Head

5. Faultless

6. Hey, Frenchy

7. Come Rain Or Come Shine

8. Fred's Mood

9. Wild Man

x

Track List: Savoy Jazz Super EP

1. True Blue

2. Yesterday

3. Autumn Breeze

4. Heart And Soul

5. Bluesology

x

Track List: The Jazz Skyline

1. Lover

2. Can't Help Lovin' That Man

3. The Lady Is A Tramp

4. Angel Face

5. Sometimes I'm Happy

6. What's New

x

Track List: Bags & Flutes

1. Bag's New Groove

2. Sandy

3. Midget Rod

4. I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over

5. Ghana

6. Sweet And Lovely

7. Connie's Blues

x

Track List: Ballads & Blues

1. So In Love

2. These Foolish Things

3. Solitude

4. The Song Is Ended

5. They Didn't Believe Me

6. How High The Moon

7. Gerry's Blues

8. Bright Blues

x

Track List: Vibrations

1. Darbin & The Redd Fox

2. Algo Bueno

3. Mallets Towards None

4. Blue Jubilee

5. Vibrations

6. Let Me Hear The Blues

7. Melancholy

8. Sweet Georgia Brown

x

Track List: Plenty, Plenty Soul (Mono)

1. Plenty, Plenty Soul

2. Boogity Boogity

3. Heartstrings

4. Sermonette

5. The Spirit-Feel

6. Ignunt Oil

7. Blues At Twilight

x

Track List: Autumn Breeze

1. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise

2. True Blues

3. Milt Meets Sid

4. Yesterday

5. Autumn Breeze

6. Bluesology

7. You Go To My Head

8. Junior

9. Sonor

10. Blues Mood

x

Track List: Heart And Soul

1. Love Me, Pretty Baby

2. Heart And Soul

3. D & E

4. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

5. Moving Nicely

6. Round Midnight

7. Hearing Bells

8. Bubu

9. Strollin'

10. Skoot

x

Track List: Bags And Brass

1. Days Of Wine And Roses

2. For Someone I Love

4. Save Your Love For Me

5. Extraordinary Blues

6. Flamingo

7. Chelsea Bridge

8. Just Waiting

9. Bossa Bags

x

Track List: The Prophet Speaks (Remastered)

1. The Prophet Speaks

2. In A Sentimental Mood

3. Five O'Clock In The Morning Blues

4. You Are So Beautiful

5. Off Minor

6. Come To Me

7. Wonder Why

8. Rev-Vitalization

9. Ah! Sweet Mystery Of Life

10. Serious Grease

11. My Romance

12. Blue Monk

x

Track List: The Art Of Milt Jackson

1. Plenty, Plenty Soul

2. Love On My Mind

3. Bag's New Groove

4. So In Love

5. Stuffy

6. Sandra's Blues

7. The Cylinder

8. Three Little Words

9. The Night We Called It A Day

10. Ghana

11. The Midnight Sun Will Never Set

12. How High The Moon

13. Stuffy

14. Vibrations

x

Track List: The Birth Of The MJQ

1. Evidence

2. Criss Cross

3. Eronel

4. Willow Weep For Me

5. Milt Meets Sid

6. D And E

7. Yesterdays

8. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

9. Autumn Breeze

10. Moving Nicely

11. 'Round About Midnight

12. Bluesology

13. Tahiti

14. Lillie

15. Bag's New Groove

16. What's New

17. On The Scene

18. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise

19. Love Me Pretty Baby

20. Heart And Soul

21. True Blues

22. All The Things You Are

23. La Ronde

24. Vendome

25. Rose Of The Rio Grande

x

Track List: Early Modern

1. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise

2. Love Me, Pretty Baby

3. Heart And Soul

4. True Blues

5. Milt Meets Sid

6. D & E

7. Yesterdays

8. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

9. Autumn Breeze

10. Moving Nicely

11. Bluesology

12. 'Round Midnight

13. You Go To My Head

14. Hearing Bells (Take 3)

15. Hearing Bells (Master - Take 5)

16. Junior

17. Bluesology (Alternate - Take 2)

18. Bluesology (Master - Take 3)

19. Bubu

20. Sonor

21. Strollin'

22. Blues Mood

23. Skoot

x

Track List: Ballads And Blues - Bags And Flutes

1. So In Love

2. These Foolish Things

3. Solitude

4. The Song Is Ended

5. They Didn't Believe Me

6. How High the Moon

7. Gerry's Blues

8. Bright Blues

9. Bags' New Groove

10. Sandy

11. Midget Rod

12. I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over

13. Ghana

14. Sweet And Lovely

15. Connie's Blues

x

Track List: At The Kosei Nenkin (Remastered)

1. Killer Joe (Live - Instrumental)

2. Get Happy (Live - Instrumental)

3. All Blues (Live - Instrumental)

4. St. Thomas (Live - Instrumental)

5. The Prophet Speaks (Live - Instrumental)

6. Bolivia (Live - Instrumental)

7. Birks Works (Live - Instrumental)

8. Stolen Moments (Live - Instrumental)

9. Bye Bye Blackbird (Live - Instrumental)

x

Track List: Sa Va Bella (For Lady Legends)

1. Oh, Lady Be Good

2. Don't Go To Strangers

3. Blues For Queen "D"

4. You've Changed

5. What A Difference A Day Made

6. This Bitter Earth

7. A-Tisket A-Tasket

8. Good Morning Heartache

9. Send In The Clowns

10. Sa Va Bella (For Lady Legends)

x

Track List: Jazz 'Round Midnight

3. For All We Know

4. Lazy Melody

5. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

6. Slow Death

7. I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life

11. Ineffable

x

Track List: The Harem

1. Blues For Gene

2. Holy Land

3. Ellington's Strayhorn

4. The Harem

5. N.P.S.

6. Old Folks

7. Olinga

8. All Members

9. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

x

Track List: Bebop

1. Au Privave

2. Good Bait

3. Woody 'N You

4. Now's The Time

5. Ornithology

6. Groovin' High

7. Birk's Works

8. Salt Peanuts

9. I Waited For You

x

Track List: Ain't But A Few Of Us Left

1. Ain't But A Few Of Us Left

2. Stuffy

3. A Time For Love

4. Body And Soul

5. If I Should Lose You

6. What Am I Here For?

x

Track List: Big Mouth

1. Big Mouth

2. The Look Of Love

3. Bags' Groove

4. I Love You (1981)

5. The Days Of Wine And Roses

6. Yusef

7. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You

8. I Owes Ya

x

Track List: Soul Fusion

1. Parking Lot Blues

2. Three Thousand Miles Ago

3. Isn't She Lovely

4. Soul Fusion

5. Compassion

6. O Amor En Paz (Portugese / Instrumental)

7. Yano

8. Bossa Nova Do Marilla

x

Track List: Olinga (Bonus Track Version)

1. Olinga

2. Rerev

3. The Metal Melter

4. The Steel Bender

5. Lost April

6. I'm Not So Sure

7. The Metal Melter (Alternate Take)

8. The Steel Bender (Alternate Take)

x

Track List: Sunflower

1. For Someone I Love

2. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life

3. People Make The World Go Round

4. Sunflower

5. SKJ

x

Track List: That's The Way It Is

1. Frankie And Johnny (Feat. Ray Brown)

2. Here's That Rainy Day (Feat. Ray Brown)

3. Wheelin' And Dealin' (Feat. Ray Brown)

4. Blues In The Bassment (Feat. Ray Brown)

5. Tenderly (Feat. Ray Brown)

6. That's The Way It Is (Feat. Ray Brown)

x

Track List: At The Museum Of Modern Art

1. The Quota

2. Novamo

3. Enigma

4. Turquoise

5. Chyrise

6. Montelei

7. Simplicity & Beauty

8. Flying Saucer

9. Namesake

x

Track List: In A New Setting

1. Sonny's Blues

2. I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life

3. Spanish Fly

4. No Moon At All

5. Slow Death

6. Clay's Blues

7. Lazy Melody

8. Projects

9. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

10. That's In

11. Ineffable

12. The Other Half Of Me

x

Track List: Live At The Village Gate (Live)

1. Bags Of Blue (Live)

2. Little Girl Blue (Live)

3. Gemini (Live)

4. Gerri's Blues (Live)

5. Time After Time (Live)

6. Ignunt Oil (Live)

7. Willow Weep For Me (Live)

8. All Members (Live)

x

Track List: Statements

1. Statement

2. Slowly

3. A Thrill From The Blues

4. Paris Blues

5. Put Off

6. A Beautiful Romance

7. Sonnymoon For Two

8. The Bad And The Beautiful

x

Track List: The Ballad Artistry Of Milt Jackson

1. The Cylinder

2. Makin' Whoopee

3. Alone Together

4. Tenderly

5. Don't Worry 'bout Me

6. Nuages

7. Deep In A Dream

8. I'm A Fool To Want You

9. The Midnight Sun Will Never Set

10. Tomorrow

x

Track List: Jackson's Ville

1. Now's The Time

2. In A Sentimental Mood / Mood Indigo / Azure

3. Minor Conception

4. Soul In 3/4

x

Track List: Opus De Jazz

1. Opus De Funk

2. Opus Pocus

3. You Leave Me Breathless

4. Opus And Interlude

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Met "Bags" in Indianapolis , In. At Madame C J Walker's place on Indiana Avenue about 1976, needless to say he was incredible! He autographed a couple of my albums, I was thrilled!
Report as inappropriate
Great ............ . . . T h a n k s again Pandora!
Report as inappropriate
jazz great no question
Report as inappropriate
Bags great, as always, but gotta say, Pandora not listing sidemen on album notes, is unfortunate!
Report as inappropriate
oh, nice comment d-bag.
Report as inappropriate
I hate this kind of music. Get offa my Pandora.
Report as inappropriate
King of the Vibes!
Report as inappropriate
Agreed, Bags is the greatest! But there are two others of note, Tjader and the Australian, Jack Brokenshaw .
Report as inappropriate
It would be great if Pandora would list the personnel on the tracks/album s being played.
Report as inappropriate
dpbass66
I have a place in my heart for the tradition and those cats that laid a foundation for modern jazz music, but I disagree with the reviewers comparisons to Burton, and let's not forget Mike Mainieri, who both play differently than Milt, but whose impact was equal. I sometimes get the feeling that nostalgia overshadows anyone whose performing life was mostly after 1970.
Report as inappropriate
dpclemens
The finest vibe player, bar none.
Report as inappropriate
As Duke said: It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. Bags definitely had that swing.
Report as inappropriate
At last I find out where "Bags'Groove " comes from!
Report as inappropriate
maunaloat
miit was a good friend for many years. cooked a delicious chicken and vegetablees for me and Maunaloa. herb avery
Report as inappropriate
billdavisgui t a r 5 4
dont forget about olinga!!!..a t his best.

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