More material from the famous Last Concert record from the MJQ – not really the last concert ever from the Modern Jazz Quartet – but a set that seemed so at the time, given that the group went their separate ways for a number of years! The record's got the combo in really top form – very much back to the basics of their early time on Atlantic Records, with a sublime focus on that unique sound that no other group like this could match.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A seminal album that defined the fresh sound of a whole new generation in jazz – that "third stream" movement that was different from the cool jazz of the west coast, and the fire of New York! The style here follows that same mix of jazz and higher-concept elements you'd hear on other Modern Jazz Quartet albums for Atlantic – but the music is expanded here with some great help from outside parties too.
The first of two albums the Modern Jazz Quartet recorded at the Music Inn in Lenox, MS, this LP is highlighted by "Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess," "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West," "A Morning in Paris," and "England's Carol" which is the MJQ's reworking of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." Clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre sits in with the group successfully on three numbers; best is "Fun." This is a worthwhile outing that has not yet been reissued on CD.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. The Modern Jazz Quartet Plays No Sun in Venice (originally titled The Modern Jazz Quartet Plays One Never Knows: Original Film Score for "No Sun in Venice") is a soundtrack album by American jazz group the Modern Jazz Quartet featuring performances recorded in 1957 for Roger Vadim's No Sun in Venice and released on the Atlantic label. This recording has six John Lewis compositions that were used in the French film No Sun in Venice. The music is quite complex and disciplined, making this set of lesser interest to fans who prefer to hear Milt Jackson playing bebop-oriented blues. However the versatile group was perfect for this type of music and these thought-provoking performances reward repeated listenings.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. One of the first Modern Jazz Quartet albums on Atlantic – a 1957 set that finds the crew in one of their freshest periods – laying down their soon-to-be trademark style in a fashion that warrants the self-titled tag! The set kicks off with a stellar medley of standards, all given the tight MJQ touch! The crew strolls through "They Say It's Wonderful", "How Deep Is The Ocean", "Body And Soul" and more in that 10 minute stretch. Other album highlights include the drum-heavy "La Ronde", a sweet reading of "Night In Tunisia", "Baden Baden", "Bag's Groove" and "Yesterdays".
In typical Fantasy Records aplomb, this four-CD set collects the eight albums which the Modern Jazz Quartet either mentored or collaborated on during their tenure at the commencement and nadir of their reign as jazz's premier chamber ensemble. Beginning with the 1952 issue of Modern Jazz Quartet/Milt Jackson Quintet recording (the earlier Milt Jackson Quartet sides are not here for obvious reasons, as the band did not commence its fully developed form on them) featuring original drummer Kenny Clarke before Connie Kay replaced him, and ending with This One's For Basie in 1985; the association the MJQ had with Prestige was a monumental one.
Spanning one of the few transitional periods for the Modern Jazz Quartet when Connie Kay replaced Kenny Clarke as the group's drummer, The Artistry of the Modern Jazz Quartet covers the years from 1952-1955. By this point in the group's career, John Lewis was largely overseeing the quartet's repertoire, penning the bulk of the original material. Indeed, on The Artistry Of, the pianist contributes six compositions to Milt Jackson's one (the excellent "Ralph's New Blues"). The set is balanced out by renditions of the most common of jazz standards in "Almost Like Falling in Love," "I'll Remember April," and "In a Sentimental Mood," and the work of more contemporary artists like Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins…
This is a strong recording from the Modern Jazz Quartet, with inventive versions of John Lewis' "Vendome," Ray Brown's "Pyramid," Jim Hall's "Romaine," and Lewis' famous "Django," along with cooking jams on "How High the Moon" and "It Don't Mean a Thing." The MJQ had become a jazz institution by this time, but they never lost their creative edge, and their performances (even on the remakes) are quite stimulating, enthusiastic, and fresh.
That sound. One group conceived it. Defined it. Perfected it. The Modern Jazz Quartet was certainly one of the most distinctive voices in the history of jazz, thanks to the unique qualities of personal expression and collective vision of its members Milt Jackson, John Lewis, Percy Heath and Connie Kay (who had replaced original drummer Kenny Clarke by the time the band started recording this music). They were also exceptionally prolific during their tenure at Atlantic Records, producing 14 albums in eight years. And now, that MJQ sound gets the complete respect it deserves, thanks to our new box, The Complete 1956-1964 Modern Jazz Quartet Atlantic Studio Recordings.
This album has an interesting concept, alternating four original blues with five adaptations of melodies from classical works by Bach. The Modern Jazz Quartet had long been quite adept in both areas, and despite a certain lack of variety on this set (alternating back and forth between the two styles somewhat predictably), the music is largely enjoyable. Vibraphonist Milt Jackson, pianist John Lewis (doubling here on harpsichord), bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Connie Kay were still all very much in their musical prime during the 21st year of the MJQ's existence.