The Early Years 1945-52
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3205
Milt Jackson is best-known as the long-time vibraphone player with The Modern Jazz Quartet, one of the most important and longest-established ensembles in post-war jazz. However, in the seven years prior to that group’s first formal recordings under that name in 1952, Milt Jackson recorded with some of the most significant and influential names in the genre, developing the musical concepts, techniques and partnerships which helped from the basis of the MJQ’s highly distinctive approach to jazz. During the late ‘40s and first years of the ‘50s he recorded with groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Ray Brown, Howard McGhee, Sonny Stitt, Fats Navarro, Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke, as well as making his first recordings leading his own different line-ups – his two sets of recordings with Monk’s Quartet and Quintet in 1948 and 1951 are especially notable. In those groups, he played with a host of bop era luminaries, including Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Don Byas, J.J. Johnson, Art Blakey, Max Roach and many others, including his first session with future MJQ colleague John Lewis. This great-value 48-track 2-CD set selects studio recordings and ‘live’ performances from that hugely significant formative period, by the end of which the initial NJQ line-up had crystallised as the Milt Jackson Quartet. It’s a thoroughly entertaining and illuminating insight into how Jackson’s already finely-honed style interacted with an eclectic range of the genre’s finest talents.