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Wizard Of The Vibes Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, July 17, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

WIZARD OF THE VIBES
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 17, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1948
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00005LKBZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By George H. Soule on August 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album. It's important jazz history, but it is also excellent music. There are two sessions represented here. The first is a quintet comprising alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson and what would soon be called the Modern Jazz Quartet--John Lewis (piano) Milt Jackson (vibraharp), Kenny Clarke (drums), and Percy Heath (bass). So you get MJQ with Lou. And these are wonderful renditions of Bags' tunes and standards. The "Bags Groove" is a great take on a modern jazz standard. This version is fresher and different from later takes (compare it to the classic Miles Davis recording). Jackson is indeed a wizard, and John Lewis proves why Kenny Clarke considered him the best of the bop pianists. Donaldson's solo on Ellington's "Don't Get around Much Anymore" demonstrates how many excellent alto players were completely eclipsed by Bird--in another musical universe this could have been a classic too. In any event, the album highlights Jackson's lyricism and command of a difficult instrument in his own compositions "Tahiti," "Lillie," and "Bags Groove" and in such tunes as "What's New." The second session on the album was a 1948 meeting with Thelonious Monk that includes brilliant renditions of "Misterioso," "Epistrophy," and "I Mean You." These juxtapose Monk's quirky percussive piano with Jackson's lyrical filigree work. Monk sets chords down and Bags dances weaving arabesque figures across them. All in all, this is an important collection.
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Format: Audio CD
Blue Note's producers Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff were really great guys.They made some of the most essential sessions of new talents,who were young musicians at this time, and who are now recognized as some of the greatest masters of jazz: Thelonious Monk,Miles Davis,Bud Powell,Dexter Gordon,Milt Jackson,Jackie McLean,Herbie Nichols,and many more.This Rudy Van Gelder's reissue of Milt Jackson's works for Blue Note includes two different sessions: first, the April 7,1952 session with John Lewis,Lou Donaldson,Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke (tracks 1-9),and great tunes: Milt's compositions,the famous "Bag's groove","Lillie",a beautiful ballad,and "Tahiti";a salute to Duke ("don't get around much anymore"),Lou's theme ("on the scene"),and the great "what's new" by Bob Haggart.
But the most important is certainly the second session,recorded on July 2,1948 : Milt Jackson,Thelonious Monk,John Simmons and Shadow Wilson.The osmosis between Milt and Monk is perfect.The masterpiece of the session is Monk's "Misterioso", a fascinating and crazy exploration of the blues.Monk's playing on this track is out of this world. Just as mad as Jimmy Yancey."I mean you","epistrophy" and "evidence"(aka "just us" or "justice") are terrific too.In the last three tracks ("all the things you are","I should care" #1 & 2), singer Kenny Hagood joins the quartet.
This cd,which includes many alternate and unissued tracks,was remastered by the great Rudy Van Gelder,and the cover of the jacket uses the drawing of the original 10 inch LP.A treasury in the Blue Note catalog.
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Format: Audio CD
I'll echo some of the other reviews that this is a landmark in many ways, and a great addition to your collection if you are a fan of Milt Jackson, or the MJQ, or Monk. Just be aware of some drawbacks. First, this is a mono recording. Second, the sound is not up to the quality of the other Blue Note RVG re-issues I've bought. RVG did the re-mastering, but was not the original engineer. Neither of these is a reason to avoid the album, just be aware of it when you buy. The other nuisance item is the sequence on the CD - it's inaccurate, showing most of the alternate tracks immediately after the original released version, when in fact they are at the end of each of the respective albums. I'm listening to Milt Jackson on "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"...Windows Media Player says it's "What's New"...a nuisance rather than a catastrophe, as the liner notes sequence is accurate. Overall, four stars, straight-ahead early 50's jazz, and recommended for MJQ and Monk fans without reservation.
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Format: Audio CD
Highly recommended to all true bop-fans.Here we have that great musician at an early stage of his career. I especially like the tracks with Thelonious Monk for the combination of Jackson's crispy sounding improvisations with Monk's unique style. The other half of the album is done by the members of the MJQ with Lou Donaldson added, offering the really rare occasion of listening to this group plus a hornplayer.
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Format: Audio CD
This is really two older Blue Note albums compiled into a single set. The first nine tracks are from a 1952 session that is credited as the Milt Jackson Quintet, and is actually the Modern Jazz Quartet plus Lou Donaldson on alto sax. The remaining tracks are a 1948 collaboration between Jackson and Thelonious Monk.

Since product pages sometimes get erroneously linked, the album I am reviewing is Wizard Of The Vibes, which contains a complete track listing as well as sound samples. Run through the sound samples for a taste of the music because those short snippets convey far more about this album than I can describe with mere words.

Interestingly, while this album is comprised of two very different groups, the compilation segues from one group to the next near seamlessly.

The first nine tracks were recorded at the WOR Studios in NYC on April 7, 1952 and feature John Lewis on piano, Milt Jackson on vibraphone, Percy Heath on bass and original MJQ drummer Kenny Clarke. This core quartet backs and accompanies Lou Donaldson on alto sax.

Tracks 10 through 17 were recorded at the Apex Studios in NYC on July 2, 1948 and credited as the Thelonious Monk Quartet. The line up is Monk and Jackson backed by John Simmons on bass and Shadow Wilson on drums. Vocals are by Kenny Pancho Hagood.

If you are a drummer you have probably already spotted the fact that this album features two of the greatest drummers of the era. Clarke was the father of bebop drumming and actually was a changing force in jazz drumming, and Wilson actually set the tone for most of Monk's drummers to come.
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