Happy Anniversary: Milt Jackson, The Ballad Artistry of Milt Jackson

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Thursday, May 1, 2014
50s
Happy Anniversary
Milt Jackson
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Happy Anniversary: Milt Jackson, The Ballad Artistry of Milt Jackson

Not everyone makes a point of deciding on their favorite vibraphonist, let alone takes the time to determine their favorite album by said vibraphonist – because, seriously, there are only so many hours in the day, you know? – but if you happen to be a fan of Milt Jackson, a.k.a. the Wizard of the Vibes, then you may wish to raise a glass and celebrate the 55th anniversary of his seminal release, The Ballad Artistry of Milt Jackson.

Produced by Nesuhi Ertegun, it doesn’t really do the album justice to say that it’s a smooth piece of work because, baby, it is smoooooooth. The opening track, “The Cylinder,” serves as a nice mood-setter, just as “Tomorrow” holds up its end of the album as the closing track, but in between those two originals are eight well-selected covers, including “Makin’ Whoopee,” “Tenderly,” Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages,” and “I’m a Fool to Want You.” Also, in case you didn’t notice the big-lettered credit on the front cover, the whole thing was arranged and conducted by a 26-year-old gentleman by the name of Quincy Jones.

If you’re looking for a soundtrack to your next dinner party or perhaps just something to help you wind down after a long day at work, give The Ballad Artistry of Milt Jackson a spin.

Oh, heck, why wait? Do it right now!