When this album was made in 1983, its three principals could look back on four decades at the top of their profession. J.J. Johnson's first appearance in the major leagues of jazz was with Benny Carter in 1942, Ray Brown's and Milt Jackson's with Dizzy Gillespie in 1945. All of them are still setting standards on their instruments, as inventive as ever and admired around the world. Here, they explore seven pieces including a Jay McShann-Charlie Parker blues that announced the bebop era, compositions of Jackson's, Johnson's, and Tadd Dameron's that are staples of the jazz repertoire, and standards from two generations. Assisting Jackson, Johnson, and Brown are John Collins, a guitar legend, and the brilliant younger players Tom Ranier and Roy McCurdy. The combined jazz experience here amounts to something over 200 years, but the music is as fresh as today.
Milt Jackson, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, with John Collins, Tom Ranier, Roy McCurdy