October 9th in African American History – Milton Jackson

Milton Jackson

Milton Jackson

October 9, 1999 Milton Jackson, jazz vibraphonist and composer, died.

Jackson was born January 1, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. He was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie who hired him for his sextet in 1946. Around 1950, Jackson formed his own group, the Milt Jackson Quartet which in 1952 was renamed the Modern Jazz Quartet.

The Modern Jazz Quartet disbanded in 1974 and reformed in 1981 before disbanding for good in 1993. As a leader, Jackson recorded “The Ballad Artistry of Milt Jackson” (1960), “Jazz ‘n’ Samba” (1964), “Night Mist” (1980), and “Burnin’ in the Woodhouse” (1995). He also played on recordings by many leading jazz, blues, and soul artists such as B. B. King, John Coltrane, West Montgomery, and Ray Charles.

Jackson was designated a NEA Jazz Master, the highest honor in jazz, by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1997 and was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999.

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