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Milt Jackson

Sunflower; Goodbye

BEAT GOES ON BGOCD1252 [73:44]

 

 

 

Sunflower

For Someone I Love

What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?

People Make The World Go Round

Sunflower

Goodbye

Detour Ahead

Goodbye

Old Devil Moon

SKJ

Opus De Funk

Sunflower : Milt Jackson (vibes): Freddie Hubbard (trumpet, Flugelhorn): Phil Bodner (flute, alto flute, piccolo, cor anglais): Romeo Penque (alto flute, oboe, cor anglais): Herbie Hancock (piano): Ron Carter (bass): Jay Berliner (guitar): Billy Cobham (drums): Ralph MacDonald (percussion) with strings, recorded December 1972

Goodbye: Milt Jackson (vibes): Freddie Hubbard (trumpet on SKJ): Hubert Laws (flute): Cedar Walton (piano): Herbie Hancock (piano on SKJ): Ron Carter (bass): Steve Gadd (drums): Billy Cobham (drums on SKJ) recorded December 1973 except SKJ, recorded December 1972

 

Fresh from Creed Taylorís repertory company, with engineering courtesy of Rudy van Gelder, come these two albums recorded in 1972 and 1973. Sunflower is the earlier LP, the tracks arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky who had a large string section at his disposal as well as clarinets, flutes, piccolos, cor anglais and the usual soloists led by Milt Jackson. As there are only four tracks thereís plenty of time to stretch out, and no need to truncate.

Jacksonís For Someone I Love opens with a lovely Spanish guitar solo from Jay Berliner and whilst the strings are lush they never swamp the material. They are more prominent in Michel Legrandís What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? though even here they are subtly deployed, the ballad benefitting from elegant expression and tempo-changing variety courtesy of Jacksonís vibes solo. Thereís a Motown feel to People Make The World Go Round, which is appropriate as it was a hit for The Stylistics in 1972 and Herbie Hancock, relatively quiet until now, unfurls a funkily grooved piano solo. The last track is the title track, an original from the august trumpeter on the date, Freddie Hubbard. The strings here are lithe, the rhythmic bases of the music being especially interesting, and the sonorities evoked, embodying mid-tempo variety Ė are all evidence of a convivial session.

The one track left over from this session was SKJ which appeared in the companion LP, Goodbye. Hubbard is utterly superb on this Bop-blues straight-ahead swinger. On this form he could singe Archangel Gabrielís wings. For the rest of the album Jackson was joined by flautist Hubert Laws, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Ron Carter (as per Sunflower), and drummer Steve Gadd, who is still going great guns these days. Walton is on electric piano (not ideal) and on Detour Ahead it does at least suit the leisurely and luminous nature of the piece where Jacksonís solo is an elysian blessing. Goodbye is the 1935 Gordon Jenkins piece, here stretched to 10 minutes. At a laid-back tempo, and with the leaderís solo full of verve and joy, thereís much to like. Only a slight sound restriction limits absolute appreciation of the groupís approach. Ever eloquent, Jackson buttresses Old Devil Moon, Gadd proving a solidly supportive time keeper but even up-tempo thereís something metallic about Waltonís electric piano that grates. Horace Silverís Opus De Funk offers a swinger with a brilliant Jackson solo and where Laws really comes into his own.

Excellent production values here from BGO and Ė praise be! Ė their date of recording information, about which Iíve endlessly complained, is present and correct in the track details.

Jonathan Woolf


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