Here we go again folks, with a midweek version from Flea Market Funk. This fine day I’m feeling my Jazz, so I wanted to throw out my man Bags and a funky little side I’ve been sitting on for a while. Before I get into that I want to shout out a new Flea Market Funk family member. Big Props to Jake Smith from Down Under and his radio show called: Funky Music Is The Thing! Thanks for reaching out, and I will for sure be in touch. For now, lets groove into Milt Jackson with The Ray Brown Big Band and “Braddock Breakdown” from the ABC Impulse! Lp Memphis Jackson.
Milt Jackson was born in 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. Originally starting out on the guitar, then piano, and finally vibes, Jackson made a name for himself throughout his career along with Red Norvo, Lionel Hampton, and Gary Burton, as a versatile Jazz vibist. He was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie in Detroit, played in his sextet, and form there was instantly accepted by the Jazz community and fans alike. Bags recorded for many of the majors: Atlantic, CTI, Savoy, Blue Note, Riverside and more. He would play with all the greats: Coltrane, Monk, Davis, Parker, among others. Jackson would become a member of a quartet that included Kenny Clarke, Percy Heath, and John Lewis, which morphed into the Modern Jazz Quartet. They would stay together recording until 1974. Jackson would record as leader, sideman, and soloist throughout that time, but made the split in 74 from the MJQ. It seemed to be over money (isn’t always?) and he continued to play and record for Pablo as an All Star throughout the 70’s. MJQ reunited in 1981, and Jackson continued to play up until his death in 1999.
When Milt Jackson wasn’t recording with the MJQ, he was making other music. He played with Ray Brown annually, all at Shelly’s Manne Hole, and this particular get together in 1969 resulted in this recording. They expanded to a bigger band, and with such Jazz/Funk royalty as Earl Palmer, Paul Humphries, Sweet Edison, Mike Melvoin, and the legendary Many Others (of which there were as the Fugees said: many many many), this record is solid. A mixture of standards and funked up Jazz, the result is something special. “Braddock Breakdown” is a an example of the great combination of Brown’s conducting and Milt Jackson’s leading (and vibes) mixed in together with a Big Band atmosphere and sound. Not too much Big Band, and not too much funky, it’s a decent mixture of the two. I wanted to throw a little Jazz vibe in midweek, and I think this will do he trick for you. Enjoy. Keep Diggin’!