One of the hippest Milt Jackson albums of the 60s – a set that definitely lives up to its Museum Of Modern Art setting! The performance is one of the most famous from that museum's well-remembered series of 60s jazz concerts – and it features Milt Jackson's quintet really stretching out nicely – hitting sharper tones and bolder notes than in some of their other sessions of the decade, and possibly picking up a freer feel overall in the live setting. Milt's vibes are wonderfully accompanied by the reeds of Jimmy Heath and piano of Cedar Walton – both players who mix soul and modern elements in the same sort of perfect blend that Jackson hits. And the rhythm section is tightly snapping and soulful – never too groove-oriented, but always conscious of a sense of a swing – thanks to bass from Ron Carter and drums from Candy Finch.
Modern Art is the prelude recording for Art Farmer prior to his partnership with Benny Golson in the Jazztet, and also foreshadows the classy, tasteful inventiveness that group brought to the modern jazz world two years after this 1958 session. Pianist Bill Evans is in here, just before his pivotal work with Miles Davis on the classic album Kind of Blue, and was the table setter for McCoy Tyner's membership in the Jazztet. Brother Addison Farmer on bass and the great drummer Dave Bailey round out this sterling quintet that specializes in playing music with a subtle approach, which is neither tame nor conservatively lazy. Included on this date is the great Junior Mance tune "Jubilation," perfectly understated in a light gospel, soul-jazz, tuneful melody with both horns wonderfully matched up in balanced unison, side by side.
One of the greatest West Coast jazz LPs of all time! Art Pepper plays beautiful spiralling alto lines with a tight quartet that includes Russ Freeman on piano, Chuck Flores on drums, and Ben Tucker on bass. The whole thing swings in a way that's tough to find on some of Pepper's other albums from the time, and the track list includes "Dianne's Dilemma", "Blues In", "Blues Out", and "Cool Bunny".