Bags (Milt Jackson) and Trane (John Coltrane) recorded this famous “bluesy” styled album in 1959 and appropriately named it “Bags & Trane.” There was quite a bit of experience between both musicians, for it was Bags 15th album and approximately Coltrane’s 20th album give or take a few. And although there was so much improvisation possible, the music was simple, down to earth and easy going. It’s a rather unique album on Coltrane’s side but only because it was different and more melodic. He had not played in this manner beforehand in his other albums, so everyone was surprised when it came out. I think sooner or later he would have had to refine himself a little further and this is where he did so. Great album to own, enjoy!
About the album:
As John Coltrane moved from music rich in chordal complexity to a newer, freer form of modality–in which melodic and rhythmic freedom came to the fore–some critics couldn’t make the imaginative leap. But no one could ever question Coltrane’s superb musicianship. This all-star session isn’t merely an aesthetic bone to these critics, but a superb example of two masters blowing relaxed and free over a tight, intuitive rhythm section. There’s Jackson’s Modern Jazz Quartet collaborator Connie Kay on drums, master of understated swing; the elegant, eternally tasteful Hank Jones on piano; and Mr. P.C., Paul Chambers, one of the fathers of modern bass playing.
Milt “Bags” Jackson and Coltrane play together with such easy, intuitive grace, it’s hard to believe that BAGS AND TRANE is not a working band. The title tune is a wistful, engaging blues that passes its vamping, melodic figure around between vibes, piano and tenor sax. Jackson’s funky variations over Chambers and Kay’s leisurely beat is in perfect contrast to Trane’s remarkably laid-back solo….Read More
Biography of Milton Jackson (Jazz.com):
As a founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet and on his own, Milt Jackson created a hard-hitting style on the vibraphone which made it a contender in bebop. He built upon the foundation laid by Swing masters Red Norvo and Lionel Hampton by adding a more powerful attack and expanded the instrument’s role in an ensemble.
Adding his own blues-based approach, he was one of the first to slow the speed of the oscillator on the vibraphone, which created a more delicate timbre for the instrument. The robust power behind his performances changed the vibraphone into a prominent melodic and harmonic instrument in jazz.
Milton Jackson was born on January 1, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. One of six children, Milt’s mother was a pious woman who was a devout member of the church, and his father was a talented amateur musician. In his early years, Milt sang in church and realized from an early age that music had a powerful effect on him.
When Jackson was seven years old he began to study the guitar. At age eleven, he began to play the piano as well. Upon entering Miller High School, Milt began to play the drums, xylophone and sing in the school’s glee club. When he was sixteen years old, Milt’s music teacher Mr. Goldberg persuaded the young man to give the vibraphone a try. Through his teens, Jackson gained valuable performing experience in a local gospel and dance groups.
At the time, Jackson had few idols on the vibraphone, following the examples instead set by the leading horn players involved in modern jazz. Milt had seen Lionel Hampton at Detroit venues such as the Michigan State Fairgrounds and the Graystone Ballroom, which further motivated him to study the vibes. However, while Jackson appreciated Hampton’s accomplishments, he chose not to emulate him but rather to find his own voice on the…..Read More