|Birth name||Milton Jackson|
|Born||January 1, 1923|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||October 9, 1999 76) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
Milton "Bags" Jackson (January 1, 1923 – October 9, 1999) was an American jazz vibraphonist,usually thought of as a bebop player, although he performed in several jazz idioms. He is especially remembered for his cool swinging solos as a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet and his penchant for collaborating with hard bop and post-bop players.
A very expressive player, Jackson differentiated himself from other vibraphonists in his attention to variations on harmonics and rhythm. He was particularly fond of the twelve-bar blues at slow tempos. He preferred to set the vibraphone's oscillator to a low 3.3 revolutions per second (as opposed to Lionel Hampton's speed of 10 revolutions per second) for a more subtle tremolo. On occasion, Jackson sang and played piano professionally.
Jackson was born on January 1, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan, United States,the son of Manley Jackson and Lillie Beaty Jackson. Like many, he was surrounded by music from an early age, particularly that of religious meetings: "Everyone wants to know where I got that funky style. Well, it came from church. The music I heard was open, relaxed, impromptu soul music" (quoted in Nat Hentoff's liner notes to Plenty, Plenty Soul). He started on guitar when he was seven, then on piano at 11.
While attending Miller High School, he played drums in addition to timpani and violin and also sang in the choir. At 16, he sang professionally in a local touring gospel quartet called the Evangelist Singers. He took up the vibraphone at 16 after hearing Lionel Hampton play the instrument in Benny Goodman's band. Jackson was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie, who hired him for his sextet in 1945, then his larger ensembles.Jackson quickly acquired experience working with the most important figures in jazz of the era, including Woody Herman, Howard McGhee, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker.
In the Gillespie big band, Jackson fell into a pattern that led to the founding of the Modern Jazz Quartet: Gillespie maintained a former swing tradition of a small group within a big band, and his included Jackson, pianist John Lewis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Kenny Clarke (considered a pioneer of the ride cymbal timekeeping that became the signature for bop and most jazz to follow) while the brass and reeds took breaks. When they decided to become a working group in their own right, around 1950, the foursome was known at first as the Milt Jackson Quartet, becoming the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) in 1952.By that time Percy Heath had replaced Ray Brown.
Known at first for featuring Jackson's blues-heavy improvisations almost exclusively, in time the group came to split the difference between these and Lewis's more ambitious musical ideas. Lewis had become the group's musical director by 1955, the year Clarke departed in favour of Connie Kay, boiling the quartet down to a chamber jazz style, that highlighted the lyrical tension between Lewis's mannered, but roomy, compositions, and Jackson's unapologetic swing.[ citation needed ]
The MJQ had a long independent career of some two decades until disbanding in 1974, when Jackson split with Lewis.The group reformed in 1981, however, and continued until 1993, after which Jackson toured alone, performing in various small combos, although agreeing to periodic MJQ reunions. From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, Jackson recorded for Norman Granz's Pablo Records, including Jackson, Johnson, Brown & Company (1983), featuring Jackson with J. J. Johnson on trombone, Ray Brown on bass, backed by Tom Ranier on piano, guitarist John Collins, and drummer Roy McCurdy.
In 1989, Jackson was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.
His composition "Bags' Groove" is a jazz standard ("Bags" was a nickname given to him by a bass player in Detroit. "Bags" referred to the bags under his eyes). [ citation needed ]He was featured on the NPR radio program Jazz Profiles . Some of his other signature compositions include "The Late, Late Blues" (for his album with Coltrane, Bags & Trane), "Bluesology" (an MJQ staple), and "Bags & Trane".
Jackson died of liver cancer in Manhattan, New York,at the age of 76. He was married to Sandra Whittington from 1959 until his death; the couple had a daughter.
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Milt Jackson among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
With the Modern Jazz Quartet
With Cannonball Adderley
With Count Basie
With Benny Carter
With Kenny Clarke
With Miles Davis
With Roy Eldridge
With Dizzy Gillespie
With Quincy Jones
With Hank Mobley
With Oscar Peterson
With Don Sebesky
With Stanley Turrentine
With Dinah Washington
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The Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) was a jazz combo established in 1952 that played music influenced by classical, cool jazz, blues and bebop. For most of its history the Quartet consisted of John Lewis (piano), Milt Jackson (vibraphone), Percy Heath, and Connie Kay (drums). The group grew out of the rhythm section of Dizzy Gillespie's big band from 1946 to 1948, which consisted of Lewis and Jackson along with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Kenny Clarke. They recorded as the Milt Jackson Quartet in 1951 and Brown left the group, being replaced on bass by Heath. During the early-to-mid-1950s they became the Modern Jazz Quartet, Lewis became the group's musical director, and they made several recordings with Prestige Records, including the original versions of their two best-known compositions, Lewis's "Django" and Jackson's "Bags' Groove". Clarke left the group in 1955 and was replaced as drummer by Connie Kay, and in 1956 they moved to Atlantic Records and made their first tour to Europe.
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