A 70s double LP issue of a variety of sides Milt cut as a leader for Prestige and Riverside. The first batch of numbers were originally released as a couple of 10"s, then repackaged under various guises in LP format, and feature a slightly different take on the Modern Jazz Quartet sound of the early years – as the album features Milt Jackson's vibes in the company of MJQ bandmates Percy Heath and Connie Kay, but also includes Horace Silver on piano – in the spot normally reserved for John Lewis! The presence of Silver on piano gives a bit of a harder edge to the set, one that almost recalls some of Jackson's work on Blue Note in the early 50s, yet which is rounded out here by a few lighter and more lyrical touches on rhythm. The set includes a great reading of "Moonray", the Jackson original "Stonewall", and the tracks "Wonder Why", "I Should Care", and "My Funny Valentine". There's also 4 numbers with the same group adding Henry Boozier on trumpet, performing "Soma", "Buhaina", "Opus De Funk" and "I've Lost Your Love". The second LP is from almost a decade on, a very nice little Milt Jackson album – cut in the mode of some of his excellent soul jazz group sides from the mid 60s. This set pushes Milt past the format of much of his other work – especially that of the MJQ – as it features him in a very soulful sextet, working with Tommy Flanagan
on piano, Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Jimmy Heath on tenor, Ron Carter on bass, and Connie Kay on drums. The presence of Dorham and Heath give the album a light lyrical swing that really opens things up – and there's a fair bit of modally-oriented tunes on the set that hint at the more soulful playing of most of the players in the 70s. Tracks include a great version of "Invitation", plus "The Sealer", "Poom A Loom", "Ruby", and "None Shall Wander".
(Cover has some light wear.)