The Modern Jazz Quartet -First Recordings!
I once saw Milt Jackson (Bags) in Boston. It was the late 90's, maybe 98/99, when my brother had first moved up there and was living in Cambridge. Saw him listed in the local rag and went. He must’ve played for 30 maybe 40 minutes tops. Dude was old and near the end. Played real soft but also perfect. Like the most mellowed wine sipped in secret so you don't have to share or get interrupted. Afterward, I was too young and shy to go talk to him. I wanted to tell him how much I loved his album with Trane and his tracks with Monk… but I didn't. Still was a nice memory from a simpler time.
This is a great album. It's chill and I love the cover photo. I think Kenny Clarke is underrated. Such a tasteful cat, classic drum tone. He really bridged the gap between old swing/bebop/modern understated playing. Percy was also a solid player, one of the great Heath brothers along with Jimmy and Albert “Tootie”. I think they were from Detroit? John Lewis is also great. Like Bill Evans but more earthy, less academic… The band takes a very deliberate approach to all the songs. There is arrangement and the solos aren't just a steady stream of cats waiting to outplay each other. Short solos, thoughtful accompaniment, nothing stock in the performance.
Django is my jam here.