Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

283

Milt Jackson: Sunflower

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count


After years on the road with the Modern Jazz Quartet and a series of sterling solo and all-star jazz performances, vibraphonist Milt Jackson decided it was time to see some green. Watching kids half his age, possessing half his talent, earn millions playing rock, he insisted he could earn more without the restraints of the MJQ. He sought out Creed Taylor in 1972 and Sunflower became his first (and best) of three CTI albums. The album is significant in many ways, not the least of which is Pete Turner's lovely ostriches-in-the-morning cover photo and a peerless version of Freddie Hubbard's classic ode, "Little Sunflower." Jackson is joined here by an outstanding aggregate of younger all-star musicians including Hubbard on trumpet and flugelhorn, Herbie Hancock, swapping chores on piano and Fender Rhodes, Ron Carter (of course) on bass and Billy Cobham on drums. Don Sebesky provides the subtle, and quite complimentary, string and horn arrangements. Acoustic guitarist Jay Berliner is also heard to enchanting effect on Jackson's "For Someone I Love." In addition to the alluring beauty of Hubbard's title track, Sunflower also includes one of the best instrumental versions of the popular "People Make The World Go Round." Hubbard carries the tune (as he did on the 1972 Hollywood Bowl record issued by CTI in 1977). Jackson scores one clever lick after another off the changes. Hancock comps seductively on Rhodes but gives one of his baddest-ever all-piano funk solos (his piano solo on "Sunflower" is a jazz beauty to behold too). Carter, as you'd expect, churns the groove like it boils in his blood. This quintet sounds so good together that it's a shame "SKJ" (which stuck out originally on the vibraphonist's 1973 CTI follow-up, Goodbye ) is the only bonus track available. I don't know if Milt Jackson made any money from Sunflower. But despite all the great music he's made over the years, Sunflower is certainly one of his most memorable.

| Record Label: CTI Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read King Of Xhosa CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Blooming Tall Phlox CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Happy
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Shift
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 11, 2016
Read "2468 West Grand Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review 2468 West Grand Boulevard
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Inspired" CD/LP/Track Review Inspired
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Now And Then" CD/LP/Track Review Now And Then
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!