The Artistry of the Modern Jazz Quartet

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Nathan Bush
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Nathan Bush
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: 025218301626
  • Catalog Number: 60016
  • Sales rank: 121,793

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 La Ronde (3:09)
  2. 2 Rose Of The Rio Grande (2:15)
  3. 3 The Queen's Fancy (3:14)
  4. 4 Delaunay's Dilemma (3:59)
  5. 5 In a Sentimental Mood - Sonny Rollins (3:21)
  6. 6 The Stopper - Sonny Rollins (2:59)
  7. 7 Almost Like Being in Love - Sonny Rollins (3:25)
  8. 8 No Moe - Sonny Rollins (3:31)
  9. 9 Django (7:04)
  10. 10 One Bass Hit (3:01)
  11. 11 Milano (4:24)
  12. 12 Ralph's New Blues (7:09)
  13. 13 I'll Remember April (5:08)
  14. 14 Concorde (3:41)
  15. 15 Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (7:56)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The 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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