Bags Meets Wes! by Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery

It's pretty much guaranteed that whenever vibraphonist Milt "Bags" Jackson guests on a session there will be—no pun intended—good vibes all around.  You see what I did there? Seriously, he's kind of a genius.  His tasteful accompaniment complements much of Hard Bop Jazz in perfect and often quite surprising ways.  As a bandleader, however, he's always been sort of underappreciated.  Then again, the vibraphone is a very underappreciated instrument to begin with.  If you could only choose one jazz instrument to hear for the rest of your life, I'm sure most of us would go for the piano, trumpet or sax.  

No, as a leader, Bags doesn't have a Kind Of Blue like Miles Davis.  Nor does he have that Somethin' Else factor like Julian "Cannonball" Adderley does.  Rather, Milt Jackson's most famous albums are those in which he shares equal billing with another artist.  One notable example is Bags & Trane, which features—you guessed it—John Coltrane.  

Another great example is this one: Bags Meets Wes! 

One thing I have yet to mention is that Milt "Bags" Jackson is not just a good vibraphonist.  He's possibly the best in Jazz history.   What makes this session so excellent is that his collaborator Wes Montgomery is possibly the best guitarist in Jazz history.  But we're not finished.  Bags Meets Wes! also features Wynton Kelly, a pianist from the aforementioned Kind Of Blue, drummer Philly Joe Jones who was in Miles Davis's first quintet and bassist Sam Jones, who appears on Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else.  This is one hell of a lineup!

That this is one hell of a lineup shouldn't surprise anybody.  It's so typical to see amazing lineups like this in Jazz music.  But the players on Bags Meets Wes! all deliver.  In its own sweet way, this is a classic.  

Bags Meets Wes! by Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery

And for your convenience:

Bags & Trane by Milt Jackson and John Coltrane

Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis

Somethin' Else by Cannonball Adderley