Milt Jackson – People Make The World Go Round


There are certain record labels that you just buy not matter what, we all have our black crack vices. For me, CTI is one of them. I have no problem picking up extra copies of Stanley Turrentine’s Cherry or Deodato’s Prelude LP, so when I saw this the other day, it was a no brainer. The worst CTI record is good, so keep that in mind people when you’re out in the field. Today I bring you one of the greats, Milt Jackson with “People Make The World Go Round” from 1972 on CTI Records.

Milt Jackson is one of the most well known vibraphonists in music history, and FMF has a soft spot for this instrument. What’s not to like about Freddie McCoy, Gary Burton, and Bobby Hutcherson either? From his work with the Modern Jazz Quartet to stints with Dizzie Gillespie, playing alongside Miles Davis and Coltrane among other greats, Jackson has put his musical stamp in the Jazz world permanently. Throughout his career he has played (and quite well I may add) many styles of Jazz as he progressed from the early years up until this record. Even though the Modern Jazz Quartet was recognized and recorded a slew of albums, it’s the same old story for a guy like Milt Jackson. Frustrated, no doubt by lack of financial results, he decided to break up the band for good in the early 70’s. The result was a few records put out on CTI (Sunflower, Goodbye, and Olinga) as well as appearances on Turrentine’s Cherry most notably and a few others Creed Taylor had his hand in (Jackson also did cuts for Pablo, Westwind, and Impulse! after his CTI output). This was an interesting time for Jackson (and CTI for that matter), as Taylor had the core players like Billy Cobham, Ron Carter, and Ralph MacDonald on this side. Th edition of Herbie Hancock on piano is a complete joy. It’s also interesting that Freddie Hubbard, who plays on this sided did a version of this (originally written by Thom Bell and made popular by The Stylistics) with some of the same players on his 1976 release Polar AC. Jackson’s version is about 3 minutes longer, and really is the better of the two. The Hubbard version is a bit darker and slower, while the Jackson version is a bit funkier IMHO. Don’t get me wrong, both are great interpretations of the song, but Milt just nailed it for me. Veteran session guitar player Jay Berliner (Mingus, Van Morrison, Ron Carter and coincidentally Hubbard’s guitarist for his version of the track George Benson’s CTI outputs as well) is also on this one, as he was floating around in the CTI stable of work horses during this era. This cut (and the whole record) is a must for all of you Soul Jazz and funky Jazz lovers out there. Smooth like a Jamaal Wilkes jumper, Milt Jackson really layed it down for CTI. Sampled by Blackalicious, De La Soul, Onyx, and others, it has stood the test of time. A solid, solid record all the way through. Don’t sleep.


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One response to “Milt Jackson – People Make The World Go Round

  1. Found your blog looking for some history on this great tune. So many great versions – but Milt’s is my fave. BTW, according to Wiki, the Hubbard album was a compilation of tunes not released from earlier dates. His version of PMTWGA was actually recorded 8 months before Milt’s version, and he played on both… but his playing on this version is so much more expressive, assertive, and… well, better!

    Cheers! ~ Rob

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