Get Your Groove On: Milt Jackson (with the Ray Brown Big Band) - "Memphis Jackson"

Get Your Groove On: Milt Jackson (with the Ray Brown Big Band) - "Memphis Jackson"

Milt Jackson teams up with Ray Brown once again in the late-1960s, this time in a big band setting led by Brown to create an underrated album of funky and soulful jazz that will appeal to both fans of modern jazz and rare groove collectors alike. 

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Under The Influence: Fats Navarro - "Prime Source"

Under The Influence: Fats Navarro - "Prime Source"

While Fats Navarro didn't leave us a large body of work to appreciate, his true lasting legacy is the influence he had on the trumpeters that would come after him in the '50s and '60s. It would not be incorrect to say that as far as the jazz trumpet style and sound we know and love, all roads lead back to Fats Navarro. The double-LP Prime Source focuses on what is generally considered his finest period - the years 1947 to 1949 - when he worked with Tadd Dameron and Bud Powell, as well as in a group he co-led with his close friend and mentor Howard McGhee.

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Heavenly Hard Bop: Milt Jackson & Frank Wess - "Opus De Jazz"

Heavenly Hard Bop: Milt Jackson & Frank Wess - "Opus De Jazz"

Opus De Jazz is an "all-star" session from the 1950s that brought together a talented group of like-minded musicians who could lay down some outstanding hard bop. Milt Jackson is, as always, a delight to behold, but the real revelation here is the strong showing by Frank Wess.

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Milt & Horace Are Some Cool Cats: Milt Jackson - "Milt Jackson Quartet"

Milt & Horace Are Some Cool Cats: Milt Jackson - "Milt Jackson Quartet"

Milt Jackson Quartet features Milt Jackson leading a group that includes two of his cohorts in the Modern Jazz Quartet, with the great Horace Silver sitting in on the piano. Jackson was clearly skilled in this brass-less setting, and the group decided to lay down some cool jazz tracks that epitomize the sound of that movement in the mid-1950s. The tunes are mellow and fluid, with everyone falling into an easy groove that will move even the most uptight jazz fan. 

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"The Compositions Of Benny Golson"

"The Compositions Of Benny Golson"

This is a bit of an odd album, a jazz compilation of the kind that were popular in the late 1950's and early 1960's, but one that focuses on the compositions of a single artist. Just like today, I'm sure these were viewed as an economical way for the labels to make money without having to pay the musicians or book studio time. The Compositions of Benny Golson is part of the "Jazz Master-Composers" series that Riverside put out in 1962 and 1963 to highlight, as the liner notes put it: "the unique presentation of works by some of the most significant, interesting and influential writers of the world of modern jazz." 

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