27

Milt Jackson and the Thelonious Monk Quintet

Marc Davis By

Sign in to view read count
And now, a crossroads: At what price do I pass?

It's the dilemma all collectors face eventually. At first, you buy the commons. A used CD at $4 is a no-brainer. A new CD at $10 or $12, easy to justify. But what do you do when the easies are gone and the price makes you think twice?

I've reached that point. My mission is to collect all the Blue Note CDs in the classic 1500 series. For stubborn, stupid reasons, I've decided to do this chronologically. So I started with 1501 and worked my way forward.

The first bunch was easy—Miles Davis, Bud Powell, J.J. Johnson, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk. (I did skip ahead a little to get Thad Jones' Detroit-New York Junction. I just liked the title.) And now we reach a decision point: Milt Jackson—the man and the CD.

It's not rare, but not exactly common either. Used CDs are $15 and up, for reasons that totally escape me. Amazon lists 44 copies, so it's not hard to find. At $15, I can sleep OK. In the old days, that was the cost of a new CD. Fair enough.

But soon, I can already see, some rares are coming. Some are $25, some $35. That makes me hesitate. How badly do I want Jutta Hipp's At the Hickory House? Gil Melle's Patterns in Jazz? I dunno, but I'm about to find out.

And then there's the record. More like two records, really.

First, the band that eventually became the Modern Jazz Quartet: Jackson, pianist John Lewis, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Kenny Clarke... plus Lou Donaldson. It's not the MJQ yet, but the seeds are there. Cool vibes, a couple of sedate ballads, a boppish toe-tapper, and the classic "Bags Groove." Very nice. Very conventional.

Walk out, come back—and now for something completely different. Thelonious Monk with Jackson, bass and drums. What the...? Jackson always the smooth bopper, but Monk behind him, all elbows and awkward pauses and odd chords. They almost don't fit together—the cool cucumber and the weird piano plunker. It works, but it sure ain't the MJQ. It's funky, and a little funny, too.

Makes you wonder how they ever got together in the first place.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Availability: Many copies on Amazon, but oddly expensive

Cost: $15 used

Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Walter Davis Jr.: Davis Cup - 1959 My Blue Note Obsession Walter Davis Jr.: Davis Cup - 1959
by Marc Davis
Published: March 21, 2017
Read Paul Chambers: Paul Chambers Quintet - 1957 My Blue Note Obsession Paul Chambers: Paul Chambers Quintet - 1957
by Marc Davis
Published: March 3, 2017
Read The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967 My Blue Note Obsession The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967
by Marc Davis
Published: February 13, 2017
Read Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder – 1964 My Blue Note Obsession Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder – 1964
by Marc Davis
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Sabu Martinez: Palo Congo – 1957 My Blue Note Obsession Sabu Martinez: Palo Congo – 1957
by Marc Davis
Published: January 17, 2017
Read Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra: Consummation – 1970 My Blue Note Obsession Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra: Consummation – 1970
by Marc Davis
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Louis Smith: Here Comes Louis Smith – 1957" My Blue Note Obsession Louis Smith: Here Comes Louis Smith – 1957
by Marc Davis
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Walter Davis Jr.: Davis Cup - 1959" My Blue Note Obsession Walter Davis Jr.: Davis Cup - 1959
by Marc Davis
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Booker Ervin: The In Between -- 1968" My Blue Note Obsession Booker Ervin: The In Between -- 1968
by Marc Davis
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder – 1964" My Blue Note Obsession Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder – 1964
by Marc Davis
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967" My Blue Note Obsession The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967
by Marc Davis
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Horace Silver: Serenade to a Soul Sister - 1968" My Blue Note Obsession Horace Silver: Serenade to a Soul Sister - 1968
by Marc Davis
Published: July 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!