Milt Jackson - Vibraphone

(1923 - 1999)

Born on Jan. 1, 1923, in Detroit, Jackson's musical beginnings were in the neighborhood gospel churches as a pianist, guitarist, violinist percussionist and singer. He took up the vibraphone in high school. He moved to New York, played with Earl Hines and in 1945, joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band rhythm section, which also included pianist John Lewis, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Kenny Clarke. He worked with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis and in 1951 recorded with Gillespie bandmates Lewis, Clarke and Brown. Inspired by that recording, they reformed as the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1952 with Percy Heath replacing Ray Brown and Connie Kay taking the drum chair after the departure of Kenny Clarke in 1955. For the following 50 years the sound of Milton "Bags" Jackson's vibraphone would signature the Modern Jazz Quartet and inspire generations of followers.
Jackson's impassioned improvisations and compositions, including "Bluesology" and "Bag's Groove," helped define the MJQ sound. Jackson recorded many splendid dates as a leader, including, The Ballad Artistry Of Milt Jackson, Ballads And Blues and Big Band Bags, and worked with many jazz immortals, including John Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, Ray Charles and Quincy Jones. In '99 he fronted an exciting album date with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Explosive! (Qwest). He died in 1999.
Recommended recordings
Blues on Bach (Modern Jazz Quartet) Atlantic
Complete last Concert (Modern Jazz Quartet) Atlantic
Dedicated to Connie (Modern Jazz Quartet) Atlantic
Celebration (Modern Jazz Quartet) Atlantic
Pyramid (Modern Jazz Quartet) Atlantic
Fontessa (Modern Jazz Quartet) Atlantic
Concorde (Modern Jazz Quartet) OJC
Django (Modern Jazz Quartet) OJC
Complete Modern Jazz Quartet Pablo and Prestige Prestige
Echoes - Together Again (Modern Jazz Quartet) Pablo
Sheriff (Modern Jazz Quartet) Wea / Warner
Third Stream Music (Modern Jazz Quartet) Wounded Bird
Modern Jazz Quartet 1957 Wounded Bird
Wizzard of the Vibes Blue Note
The Jazz skyline Savoy Jazz
Meet Milt Jackson Savoy Jazz
Jackson 'Ville Savoy Jazz
Things are getting Better (with Cannonball Adderley) Riverside
Bags Meets Wes OJC 234-2 - Riverside 9407
Soul Believer OJC 686-2 - Pablo 2310-832
Night Mist OJC 827-2 - Pablo 2312-124
The Big 3 OJC 805-2 - Pablo 2310-757
Memories of Thelonious Sphere Monk OJC 851-2 - Pablo 2308-235
Ain't but a Few of us Left  OJC
Montreux 77  OJC
Big Bags OJC
Jackson, Johnson, Brown and Company OJC
Soul Fusion with Monty Alexander  OJC
Opus De Jazz  Wea / Savoy
Best of Milt Jackson Fantasy / Pablo
Bags and Trane WEA Atlantic
Soul Brothers WEA Atlantic
Plenty Plenty Soul WEA Atlantic
Sa va Bella WEA Warner Bros
Burnin' in the Woodhouse WEA Warner Bros
Explosive WEA Warner Bros
Reverence and Compassion WEA Warner Bros
Milt Jackson  Blue Note
Sunflower Columbia
Bean Bags Koch