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Watch the Action Jackson online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know

Aaah, Milt Jackson. I grew up with a town library that was with it enough to have albums by Ry Cooder and Roy Book Binder tucked in amongst the Herb Alpert and Beethoven LPs, and that's how I got hip to the Modern Jazz Quartet as well.

European Concert was one of the first jazz records I bought myself, probably at the Harvard Coop, at a time when cell phones still had rotary dials, Smith Corona made manual laptops, and if you discovered an album you were really crazy about you had to go out and find a copy of it somewhere to buy and bring home to your turntable. Milt Jackson played vibes in the MJQ, as they were known, and made records on his own as well. Either way, he loved to play blues of every shade, while tossing off doubletime bebop lines with a relaxed, quicksilver touch and tone that transformed people’s perception of the role of the vibraphone in jazz in much the way Wes Montgomery’s seemingly effortless octave and chord soloing transformed people’s perception of the guitar.

Check out Jackson on the many recordings he made of his signature tunes "Bags’ Groove" and "Bluesology," as well as his recordings with Coltrane and Ray Charles.