Milt Jackson: Sa Va Bella

Nothing is sure but death, taxes and Milt Jackson’s excellence. He’s among the most consistent artists in any medium. Here Jackson pays tribute to the great jazz vocalists including Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald. He works with a quartet including pianist Michael Le Donne, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Mickey Roker.

Vocalist Etta James appears on some tracks but sounds pretty uninspired and mannered.

The instrumental work’s fine, though. Every note Jackson plays makes sense; his solos are energetic, disciplined and he’s still playing fresh ideas after all these years, still the greatest vibist on the scene today. Le Donne contributes solid, fluent post bop solos and he, Cranshaw and Roker provide Jackson with strong, supple accompaniment.A