Artistry of the Modern Jazz Quartet

Artistry of the Modern Jazz Quartet

by The Modern Jazz Quartet
     
 

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,See more details below

Overview

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. Though the chops of each member are undeniable, the performances are, for the most part, rather reserved, placing technique and group coordination above strong emotion. Lewis' "La Ronde" was an early favorite, and it's easy to see why. Here the all-rhythm lineup is completely locked in, particularly the drums and vibes, and the head packs a punch lacking on much of the material. Jackson balances restraint and umph! on a memorable solo while Lewis responds with excellent bopisms on piano. Two songs later, however, the group are strolling through the awkward "The Queen's Fancy," a composition whose overly sentimental melody line, complete with regal undertones, has faired less well over time. More impressive are readings of "Rose of the Rio Grande" and Lewis' "Delaunay's Dilemma." In 1951, the MJQ had backed Sonny Rollins on a Prestige date, and The Artistry Of finds the saxophonist repaying the favor, lending prime solos to a handful of cuts including his own "The Stopper" and "No Moe." In the end, this album is a fine introduction to the sound and sensibility of the MJQ.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/20/1991
Label:
Fantasy
UPC:
0025218301626
catalogNumber:
60016
Rank:
196706

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Modern Jazz Quartet   Primary Artist
Milt Jackson   Vibes
John Lewis   Piano
Sonny Rollins   Tenor Saxophone
Connie Kay   Drums
Percy Heath   Bass
Kenny Clarke   Drums
John Richard Lewis   Piano

Technical Credits

Gil Fuller   Composer
Dizzy Gillespie   Composer
Milt Jackson   Contributor
John Lewis   Contributor
Sonny Rollins   Contributor
Connie Kay   Contributor
Ray Brown   Composer
Kenny Clarke   Contributor
Walter Fuller   Composer
Rudy Van Gelder   Engineer
Ira Gitler   Producer
Doug Hawkins   Engineer
Orrin Keepnews   Liner Notes
Bob Lee   Engineer
Bob Weinstock   Producer
Phil Carroll   Art Direction
Burt Goldblatt   Cover Photo
Pat Johnston   Composer

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