Jackson, Milt(on; aka Bags)

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Jackson, Milt(on; aka Bags)

Jackson, Milt(on; aka Bags), famed jazz vibraphonist, pianist, and guitarist, best-known for his long association with the Modern Jazz Quartet; b. Detroit, Jan. 1, 1923; d. N.Y., Oct. 9, 1999. He articulated with remarkable sensitivity, bringing out certain notes within a line just as pianists and saxophonists do. This developed in his playing by the early 1950s. He began his career in 1945 with Dizzy Gillespie; after working with several other musicians, he organized the Milt Jackson Quartet in 1951, with John Lewis, Ray Brown, and Kenny Clarke. In 1952 it was renamed the Modern Jazz Quartet, a group that was crucial in the synthesis of “cool jazz” with “classical” music, which eventually came to be known as Third Stream. The Quartet disbanded in 1974, but reunited on several occasions, including a 1981 Japanese tour that led to annual reunions since. He co-led a group with Ray Brown during the 1960s. From 1992, he worked with his own quintet, with Mike LeDonne, Bob Cranshaw, and Mickey Roker. In 1996 he was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Hall of Fame.


M. J. (1948); In the Beginning (1948); Howard McGhee and M. J. (1948); Bluesology (1949); Quartet (1951); M. J. (1951); First Q (1951); Wizard of the Vibes (1952); Quartet, Quintet (1952); All Star Bags (1952); With the Henri Renaud All Stars (1954); Opus De Jazz (1955); Second Nature (1956); Soul Brothers (with Ray Charles; 1957); Plenty, Plenty Soul ((1957); Bean Bags (with Coleman Hawkins; 1958); Bags and Trane (John Coltrane; 1959); That’s the Way It Is (1960); Soul Meeting (1961); Bags Meets Wes (with Wes Montgomery; 1961); Live at the Village Gate (1963); Jazz (’n’ Samba (1964); At the Museum of Modern Art (1965); Montreux ’75 (1975); M. J. Big Four (1975); At the Kosei Nenkin (1976); Montreux (’77 (1977); M. J., Count Basie (1978); M. J. Sings and Plays (1978); Ain’t But a Few of Us Left (1981); Mostly Duke (1982); In London: Memories of Thelonious Sphere Monk (1982); J., Johnson, Brown & Company (with J. J. Johnson, Ray Brown; 1983); Bebop (1988); Prophet Speaks (1994); Burnin’ in the Woodhouse (1995).


Roy J. Wilbraham, M. J.: A Discography (London).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Lewis Porter

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Jackson, Milt(on; aka Bags)

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