Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bags and Trane

Thanks to Patrick I enjoyed the music of the John Coltrane Atlantic Sessions. One of the first albums Coltrane recorded for Atlantic was Bags and Trane. At this session John Coltrane and Milt Jackson made a surprisingly complementary team.

Milt Jackson was one of the greatest improvisers on the vibe and developed it into bebop music. His quartet became wellknown as the Modern Jazz Quartet, the most popular small jazz group of the second half of the XXst century and lasted for almost 40 years.
John Coltrane , I don't think he has to be introduced, was on the eve of his breakthrough with albums like Giant Steps. This session, 15 January 1959, was their one and only recording.

In the late 1950s it seemed to be popular to bring two musicians together and record the gathering. Their are several examples of this kind of records in my collection: Ben Webster meets Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson, or Gets with Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson. For me it seems that the popularity of these duo-specials coincide with the development of stereo recordings. In these first stereo recordings the two stars were seperated completely, so if you listen to these tunes the two stars have their own sound channels.

If you have the opportunity listen to this great recording - I liked it, especially the way Milt Jackson plays the ballads. Listen to a fragment of Centerpiece by clicking on the title bar. More fragments at this site

Milt Jackson vib, John Coltrane ts, Hank Jones p, Paul Chambers b, Connie Kay dm.
Recorded 15 January 1959
1. Stairway To Thne Stars
2. The Late Late Blues
3. Bags & Trane
4. Three Little Words
5. The Night We Called It A Day
6. Be-Bop
7. Blues Lagacy
8. Centerpiece

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