DCC GOLD CD GZS 1093: MILT JACKSON WES MONTGOMERY Bags Meets Wes
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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 several 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 vibrato. On occasion, Jackson would also sing and play piano professionally.

He was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie, who hired him for his sextet in 1946 and also kept him for larger ensembles. He 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 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.

The MJQ had a long independent career of some twenty years until disbanding in 1974, when Jackson split with Lewis, partly in an attempt to make more money on his own and, more likely, because he sought the improvisational freedom he once enjoyed. 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. He also was a guest on recordings by many leading jazz, blues, and soul artists, such as B.B. King, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, and Ray Charles.

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 from his habit of staying up all night.) 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" (a Modern Jazz Quartet staple), and "Bags & Trane.”

Milt Jackson was a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey. He died on October 9, 1999, aged 76, and was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York.

John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery (March 6, 1923 – June 15, 1968) was an American jazz guitarist. He is widely considered one of the major jazz guitarists, emerging after such seminal figures as Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian and influencing countless others, including Grant Green, Pat Martino, George Benson, Russell Malone, Emily Remler, Kenny Burrell, Pat Metheny, Steve Howe, and Jimi Hendrix.

According to jazz guitar educator Wolf Marshall, Montgomery often approached solos in a three-tiered manner: He would begin a repeating progression with single note lines, derived from scales or modes; after a fitting number of sequences, he would play octaves for a few more sequences, finally culminating with block chords. He used mostly superimposed triads and arpeggios as the main source for his soloing ideas and sounds. The use of octaves (playing the same note on two strings one octave apart) for which he is widely known, became known as "the Naptown Sound". Montgomery was also an excellent "single-line" or "single-note" player, and was very influential in the use of block chords in his solos. His playing on the jazz standard "Lover Man" is an example of his single-note, octave- and block-chord soloing. ("Lover Man" appears on the Fantasy album The Montgomery Brothers.)

Instead of using a guitar pick, Montgomery plucked the strings with the fleshy part of his thumb, using downstrokes for single notes and a combination of upstrokes and downstrokes for chords and octaves. Montgomery developed this technique not for technical reasons but for his wife. He worked long hours as a machinist before his career began and practiced late at night while his wife was sleeping. He played with his thumb so that his playing would be softer and not wake her. This technique enabled him to get a mellow, expressive tone from his guitar. George Benson, in the liner notes of the Ultimate Wes Montgomery album, wrote, "Wes had a corn on his thumb, which gave his sound that point. He would get one sound for the soft parts, and then that point by using the corn. That's why no one will ever match Wes. And his thumb was double-jointed. He could bend it all the way back to touch his wrist, which he would do to shock people.”

He generally played a Gibson L-5CES guitar. In his later years he played one of two guitars that Gibson custom made for him. In his early years, Montgomery had a tube amp, often a Fender. In his later years, he played a solid state Standel amp with a 15-inch (380 mm) speaker.

Bags Meets Wes! is a collaboration jazz album by Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery, released in 1962. In his Allmusic review, music critic Alex Henderson wrote of the album "Although Jackson and Montgomery prove what lyrical ballad players they could be on the standard "Stairway to the Stars," ballads aren't a high priority on this album. Instead, the improvisers put more of their energy into the blues…"

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York, New York on December 18 & 19, 1961. Originally released on Riverside (9407). Includes liner notes by Joe Goldberg. Digitally remastered by Steve Hoffman, using 20-bit K2 Super Coding System technology. One of the classic hard-bop collaborations, BAGS MEETS WES! presents guitarist Wes Montgomery and vibraphonist Milt "Bags" Jackson in an excellent 1961 session. Montgomery's warm, rootsy tone and blues-derived style provided a perfect complement to Jackson's intellectual, traditional bop approach, and the two achieve natural, sometimes scintillating dialogues on this date. Backed by a hard-to-beat band--pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Philly Joe Jones--Bags and Wes play largely in a blues mode here, with plenty of stretching out over the 12-bar progressions. Jackson's "S.K.J." kicks off the set, and proves one of the highlights, as does Montgomery's "Jingles," an up-tempo, minor-key groove-laden song on which the co-leaders unfurl vibrantly melodic lines during their solos.

Editorial Reviews - 4 stars out of 5 - ...Knuckle-chewing stuff, from start to finish. - Q (2000,05,01)

GOLD CD - DCC RECORDINGS // RIVERSIDE series CD item - this item is FACTORY SEALED and in MINT condition
GOLD CD was made in the USA or Japan - can’t tell for sure until the item has been opened and inspected.
GOLD CD pressing is in STEREO
GOLD CD pressed and Issued by DCC RECORDINGS under license from RIVERSIDE
GOLD CD issued in: 1996
GOLD CD Record Catalog Number: GZS 1093

Featured on this GOLD CD -

MILT JACKSON & WES MONTGOMERY

Performers on this disc include -
Milt Jackson – vibraphone
Wes Montgomery – guitar
Philly Joe Jones – drums
Sam Jones – bass
Wynton Kelly – piano

GOLD CD Title -
BAGS MEETS WES!

Track Listings -
1. S.K.J.
2. Stablemates
3. Stairway to the Stars
4. Blue Roz
5. Sam Sack
6. Jingles
7. Delilah
8. Stairway to the Stars - (alternate take)
9. Jingles - (alternate take)
10. Delilah - (alternate take)

CONDITION Details:
The GOLD CD is from the very rare DCC Recordings series of audiophile CD titles.

GOLD CD re-mastered by Steve Hoffman
Pictures with this listing are of the actual item
Jewel Case IS the original flip up type
This item DOES come with the paper outer slip cover - it is complete and near perfect.
The original LP was issued on the RIVERSIDE record label, in 1962

The GOLD CD, Jewel Case and INSERTS are all in MINT condition. The CD is actually FACTORY SEALED!!

The GOLD CD is an audiophile quality pressing (any collector of fine MFSL, half speeds, direct to discs, Japanese/UK pressings etc., can attest to the difference a quality pressing can make to an audio system).

Don't let this rarity slip by!!!

  • Item #: DCC GOLD CD GZS 1093 SS
  • Manufacturer: DCC - Digital Compact Classics Recordings
  • Condition: New

DCC GOLD CD GZS 1093: MILT JACKSON WES MONTGOMERY Bags Meets Wes

Price: $299.99
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