Each month Peter Batten recommends a recording that jazz fans may wish to add to their personal library.
Three Classic Albums
with Cannonball Adderley: Things Are Getting Better
with Coleman Hawkins: Bean Bags
with Art Farmer & Benny Golson: Bags Opus
This recommendation is a new addition to my collection. Recently I was preparing for a recital of Milt’s recordings when I discovered this gem on the internet. By the late 1950s his career had really taken off and he was receiving many proposals for recording sessions. These are three that he accepted in the autumn of 1958.
The first, with Cannonball, features a dream rhythm team: Wynton Kelly on piano with Percy Heath on bass and Art Blakey at his superb best on the drums. Kelly’s work on every track makes this session well worth a listen.
Tommy Flanagan and Kenny Burrell provide very sympathetic accompaniment for Hawkins on the second album, He sounds very relaxed in their company and records one of the very best sessions from this late stage in his career.
The third album came as a complete surprise for me. Around this time I began to listen to a lot of Farmer – and Golson – but I must have completely missed this session, which was produced by John Lewis. All three principals perform superbly, beautifully accompanied by Tommy Flanagan, with the great Paul Chambers on bass and Connie Kay on drums. Milt rounds off the session with the rhythm section on a great version of Ill Wind.
[ Milt Jackson: Three Classic Albums is on Real Gone Jazz RGJCD247]
Photo by William P. Gottlieb.