All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Multiple Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

263

Milt Jackson: Soul Pioneers / Tommy Flanagan: The Cats

Greg Thomas By

Sign in to view read count
Milt Jackson
Soul Pioneers: The Milt Jackson Quartet featuring Horace Silver
Concord Music Group
2004

From the opening tag of the first tune on this 1955 recording, one relaxes on the axis of the steel vibes of Milt Jackson, joined by his Modern Jazz Quartet mates Percy Heath and Connie Kay, along with soul jazz pioneer Horace Silver. The original Prestige rerelease in the early '60s was dubbed Soul Pioneers.

Marketing labels aside, Jackson's playing sings throughout and his trademark warm vibrato rings on ballads such as "My Funny Valentine , "The Nearness of You and "I Should Care .

His incorporation of a blues/gospel feel peppered with traces of bebop is another Jackson signature. Silver, pianist in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers at the time, was a perfect choice; his comping and solos combine similar aspects of the Afro-American musical continuum. Silver is a master of accompaniment and "Stonewall , an up-tempo favorite of this listener and the opening number "Wonder Why spotlight his contribution in this regard.

Unlike MJQ's contrapuntal approach however, this date is a loose blowing session following a basic melody-solos-melody format. Heath and Kay are stalwart on bass and drums respectively, as usual. The disc's re-mastering, utilizing JVC's 20-Bit K2 Super Coding System, is a high-resolution wonder, providing remarkable clarity of sound.

Tommy Flanagan
Flanagan/Coltrane/Burrell: The Cats
Concord Music Group
2004

The Cats, a 1957 Tommy Flanagan date featuring John Coltrane, Idrees Sulieman and fellow Detroit natives Kenny Burrell, Doug Watkins and Louis Hayes, showcases Flanagan's compositional talents with four of his original tunes performed by the sextet. The standard "How Long Has This Been Going On is presented via trio and showcases Flanagan's tender touch and Hayes' brush prowess, with Watkins' bass blending perfectly.

"Eclypso , with its Caribbean-flavored head, has Flanagan flowing bebop lines with ease and Sulieman blowing a textured trumpet solo in the Fats Navarro-Clifford Brown style. Kenny Burrell, regarded by many as the midpoint guitar master between Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery, shares the melody line on "Solacium (The tune's title is the Latin word for 'solace'). This sentiment is especially true of Flanagan's and Sulieman's solos.

John Coltrane, here in his middle period, begins his improvisation languorously but quickly assures with his "sheets of sound , squeezing flurries of notes from his horn. Burrell follows suit, starting with a blues-drenched statement of empathy, but filling the arc of his solo with double-time finesse.

The CD closes with a blues, "Tommy's Tune , and tells a similar instrumental story, each player initially mournful but fighting the blue devils of discontent. Rhythm section support is superlative. Coltrane's cries and Watkins' sighs during his one solo on the session are a fitting end: only two of these artists, Hayes and Burrell, remain with us today.


Tracks and Personnel

Soul Pioneers: The Milt Jackson Quartet featuring Horace Silver

Tracks: Wonder Why; My Funny Valentine; Moonray; The Nearness of You; Stonewall; I Should Care.

Personnel: Milt Jackson: vibes; Horace Silver: piano; Percy Heath: bass; Connie Kay: drums

Flanagan/Coltrane/Burrell: The Cats

Tracks: Minor Mishap; How Long Has This Been Going On?; Eclypso; Solacium; Tommy's Tune

Personnel: Tommy Flanagan: piano; John Coltrane: tenor saxophone; Idrees Sulieman: trumpet; Kenny Burrell: guitar; Doug Watkins: bass; Louis Hayes: drums.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Debut Recordings On The Elsewhere Label Multiple Reviews
Debut Recordings On The Elsewhere Label
by John Eyles
Published: August 11, 2018
Read Cross Purposes Multiple Reviews
Cross Purposes
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 25, 2018
Read Two Contrasting Releases From Bertrand Denzler Multiple Reviews
Two Contrasting Releases From Bertrand Denzler
by John Eyles
Published: July 22, 2018
Read Groovemeisters: Dennis Coffey and Barry Goldberg Multiple Reviews
Groovemeisters: Dennis Coffey and Barry Goldberg
by Doug Collette
Published: July 20, 2018
Read Gene Clark sings For You and A Trip Through The Rose Garden Multiple Reviews
Gene Clark sings For You and A Trip Through The Rose Garden
by Doug Collette
Published: July 8, 2018
Read Steve Wynn: Kerosene Man and Dazzling Display Multiple Reviews
Steve Wynn: Kerosene Man and Dazzling Display
by Doug Collette
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "Brazilian Brilliance: Kassin and Domenico Lancellotti" Multiple Reviews Brazilian Brilliance: Kassin and Domenico Lancellotti
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition & Rez Abbasi’s Invocation" Multiple Reviews Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition & Rez...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "A Six-String Travelogue" Multiple Reviews A Six-String Travelogue
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Rock Candy: Montrose (eponymous) & Paper Money" Multiple Reviews Rock Candy: Montrose (eponymous) & Paper Money
by Doug Collette
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Groovemeisters: Dennis Coffey and Barry Goldberg" Multiple Reviews Groovemeisters: Dennis Coffey and Barry Goldberg
by Doug Collette
Published: July 20, 2018
Read "Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And Rutherford" Multiple Reviews Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And...
by John Eyles
Published: September 8, 2017