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HOME -> FRESH SOUND RECORDS -> Quintet & Sextet, With Lucky Thompson (2 Cds)
Quintet & Sextet, with Lucky Thompson (2 CDs)

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Milt Jackson

Lucky Thompson

Savoy MG12061

Savoy MG12042

Savoy MG12070

Savoy MG12080

Atlantic LP1269

Quintet & Sextet, With Lucky Thompson (2 Cds)

Milt Jackson

Featuring: Joe Newman (tp), Lucky Thompson (ts), Milt Jackson (vib), Hank Jones, John Lewis, Horace Silver (p), Wendell Marshall, Oscar Pettiford (b), Kenny Clarke, Connie Kay (d)


Because of his ideas, time and arresting way of playing, Milt Jackson, nicknamed “Bags”, is considered by many the greatest of jazz vibraphonists. It can be historically verified that Jackson’s nickname stems from his life in Detroit in the early ‘40s. Celebrating his completion of military service, Milt had little inclination to sleep. After a week or so, he had those bags under his eyes. The bags eventually disappeared, but the name stuck.

Leading these quintet sessions he had much more opportunity to show his gifts than the context of John Lewis’s MJQ allowed. With him also on all but two tunes, is the superb, Hawkins-rich but always individualized tenor of Lucky Thompson, whose subtle swing and sophisticated solos build logically into satisfying solos delivered with warmth, emotion and an expressively malleable tone. The Savoy “house” rhythm section—Hank Jones, Wendell Marshall, and Kenny Clarke, one of the best integrated teams in the history of recorded jazz-is on most of these performances.

On the first date Wade Legge is on piano instead of Jones, and the session retains a relaxed, swinging mood, with all involved in excellent form. As a bonus the sextet sides Milt did for Atlantic—also with Lucky—are included. On them Bags shows not only his great ability to suffuse his sensitive ballad playing with jazz feeling, but also that he was a masterly blues player. And the album as a whole confirms his status as a jazz icon, one of the greats not only on his instrument, but also in the overall jazz pantheon.


CD 1

01. Come Rain or Come Shine (Arlen-Mercer) 5:39
02. They Can’t Take That Away from Me
(G. & I. Gershwin) 6:36
03. Wild Man (Kenny Clarke) 5:40
04. Soulful (Milt Jackson) 7:28
05. Fred’s Mood (Milt Jackson) 6:26
06. Flamingo (Grouya-Anderson) 3:38
07. Lover (Rodgers-Hart) 7:47
08. Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man
(Hammerstein II-Kern) 4:37
09. The Lady Is a Tramp (R.Rodgers-L.Hart) 7:19
10. Angel Face (Hank Jones) 6:38
11. Sometimes I’m Happy (Youmans-Caesar) 7:15
12. What’s New? (Haggart-Burke) 3:52

CD 2

01. Now’s the Time (Charlie Parker) 8:17
02. Medley (Ellington) 6:44
In a Sentimental Mood / Mood Indigo / Azure
03. Minor Conception (Milt Jackson) 8:37
04. Soul in 3/4 (Milt Jackson) 6:41
05. Hello (Milt Jackson) 3:44
06. Bright Blues (Milt Jackson) 6:12
07. How High the Moon (Lewis-Hamilton) 6:10
08. Ignunt Oil (Milt Jackson) 5:33
09. Blues at Twilight (Quincy Jones) 6:47
10. Sermonette (Julian Adderley) 5:24
11. The Spirit Feel (Milt Jackson) 4:22

Sources CD 1:

Tracks #2,4,6 from the album
“Meet Milt Jackson” (Savoy MG12061)

Tracks #1,3,5 from the album
“Roll ‘Em Bags” (Savoy MG12042)

Tracks #7-12 from the album
“The Jazz Skyline” (Savoy MG12070)

Sources CD 2:

Tracks #1-4 from the album
“Jackson’s Ville” (Savoy MG12080)

Tracks #5-7 from the album
“Ballads & Blues” (Atlantic LP1242)

Tracks #8-11 from the album
“Plenty, Plenty, Soul” (Atlantic LP1269)

Personnel on CD 1

Tracks #1-6: Lucky Thompson, tenor sax except #8, Milt Jackson, vibes except #12, Wade Legge, piano; Wendell Marshall, bass, Kenny Clarke, drums

Recorded in Hackensack, N.J., on January 5, 1956

Tracks #7-12: Same personnel as above but Hank Jones, piano replaces Legge

Recorded at Hackensack, N.J., on January 23, 1956

Personnel on CD 2

Tracks #1-4: Lucky Thompson, tenor sax; Milt Jackson, vibes, Hank Jones, piano; Wendell Marshall, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums

Recorded in Hackensack, N.J., on January 23, 1956

Tracks #5-7: Lucky Thompson, tenor sax; Milt Jackson, vibes; John Lewis, piano, Skeeter Best, guitar; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums

Recorded in New York City, on January 17, 1956

Tracks #8-11: Joe Newman, trumpet, Lucky Thompson, tenor sax; Milt Jackson, vibes; Horace Silver, piano; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Connie Kay, drums. Quincy Jones, arranger

Recorded in New York City, on January 5, 1957

Original recordings produced by Ozzie Cadena (Savoy), and Nesuhi Ertegun (Atlantic)

Recording engineers: Rudy Van Gelder (Savoy),
Tom Dowd and Johnny Cue (Atlantic).

Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol

Mono / Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered



"Without doubt, in the legendary category are the 1956 and 1957 quintet and sextet sessions led by vibraphonist Milt Jackson and featuring the tenor saxophone of Lucky Thompson. These sessions, Milt Jackson Quintet and Sextet with Lucky Thompson (2012), originally on the Savoy label, represent quintessential, relatively early Bags, soulfully swinging as always, and apart from what some believed were the "confines" of the Modern Jazz Quartet. This two-CD set, which includes bonus tracks from a 1956 and 1957 Atlantic Records date, stand as Jackson's first sessions as a leader, though he had been recording as early as the mid-1940s. The vibraphonist's playing is fully formed here, as is Thompson's modern version of Don Byas. Many of the sidemen on these titles, which include drummer Kenny Clarke, bassist Oscar Pettiford, pianistsHank Jones, Horace Silver, and the MJQ's John Lewis; qualify for legendary status as well. These sides—all of them—are landmarks in the history of recorded jazz."

Bruce Klauber -All About Jazz (Jan. 8, 2013)

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