I am curious about the following. If you look at the Melodic Minor scale (ascending) it is really just Dorian with a major 7th.
In Jazz we do not alter this mode when descending. In classical music this mode is used in minor keys, e.g. A melodic minor in the key of A minor (to create leading tones when needed and the sharp 6th to turn the jump of a -3rd to a step). In rhythm changes the vi chord is often changed to a dominant 7th, acting as a secondary dominant to the ii, e.g. I --> VI7 --> ii-7 --> V7, etc. The major third of the VI7 created the "melodic minor" out of the Dorian on the ii chord. So in soloing if one wanted to create a resolution from VI7 to ii-7 it would seem natural to augment the 7th degree of Dorian. I do this to all the modes when I see a need or opportunity to do so but never really thought of a connection to other modes.
Over Rhythm changes I would improvise ii-Melodic minor over (VI7, ii-7) and I-Ionian over (V7, I).
My question is whether or not there is any historical connection between the "Jazz Melodic Minor" and this device. Has anyone ever written about the Dorian sharp 7th?
Keep in mind that the corresponding altered Dorian mode based on the relative melodic minor in any key would NOT be this mode. For example in the key of C, A melodic minor does not correspond to Dorian sharp 7th.