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Pyramid [Import]

The Modern Jazz Quartet, M.j.q Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 10.95
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Frequently Bought Together

Pyramid + Fontessa + Blues On Bach
Price For All Three: 23.90

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  • Fontessa 6.70
  • Blues On Bach 6.25

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Dec 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002I4Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 446,448 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Vendome
2. Pyramid
3. It Don't Mean a Thing
4. Django
5. How High the Moon (With Helen Forrest)
6. Romaine

Product Description


This album affords good insight into the evolution of the MJQ with its new versions of Django and Vendome . The present interpretations are taken at faster tempos than the original recordings, and while some of the subtle interplay among the instruments is lost, they swing more. In fact the LP swings as much if not more than any of the quartet s previous efforts; but it s a delicate swing, not of the sweaty, down-home sort. Besides swinging, the MJQ offers intelligence also, something that the back-to-the-land advocates sometimes omit. A fine and worthy addition to your file of albums. --Don DeMicheal

CD Description

2 LPs on 1 CD! The Modern Jazz Quartet s classic original album Pyramid (Atlantic LP1325) in its entirety. Along with the title tune a beautiful composition by Ray Brown it presents the definitive version of John Lewis gem Django . As a bonus, we have added the complete LP Patterns (United Artists UAL4063), which features the exact same personnel. The latter LP was recorded by the MJQ in between the sessions for Pyramid, and consists of six John Lewis compositions. The original 1954 version of Django has also been added as a bonus.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MJQ at their best 6 Dec 2009
Format:Audio CD
My brother owned this as a vinyl LP when it was first released and although I was quite young to listen to this kind of music then I loved it, and rediscovered it again recently on a trip to the South of France where John Lewis had a villa. When I came back I ordered this and another couple of albums, and was not at all disappointed, the music is as fresh as ever. They were four incredibly talented musicians and composers. Vendome is a wonderful fast moving and evocative piece reflecting JLs love of France and the culture; this and Django are classic MJQ.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MJQ Pyramid 4 April 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One of my all time favourites espec title track - still have it on disc . But his is replacement backup
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff! 15 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a very good CD. It's very lovely and complex jazz to be listened to or as cool background music. Love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars PYRAMID BY MJQ 19 Oct 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mellow beauty, perfect for a certain mood or time of life... 18 Dec 2002
By William E. Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I bought this on LP when I was in high school, trying to be hip like Hugh Hefner, or at least my best friend, Bob Ewaskiewicz. It kept me company during many lonely and dateless hours between 11th grade and the end of my first year of college. It is not the absolute best MJQ release, but it is very typical of their studio work when just the four of them performed without a guest with a horn like Paul Desmond or Sonny Rollins. Gently swinging, but overall a quiet, studious mood prevails. I wasn't old enough or smart enough back in the early 60's to appreciate the artistry revealed on this disc, yet I liked it a lot. I can still recall how sad I felt giving that record away when I packed up all I owned, to be stored during a two-year stint in the Army. "It Don't Mean a Thing..." and "How High the Moon" are the highlights for the casual listener, but the John Lewis originals like "Django" are where the genius is found. As an introduction to MJQ, I think the Rollins or Desmond collaborations are better, or the "Odds Against Tomorrow" film score. But "Pyramid" is a good second exposure, and will always have a place in my heart for the peace it provided a late-blooming and troubled teen.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very fine record 25 Jan 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is another very fine record by the incomparable group MJQ. As usual they play with great swing and wonderful taste. However, I think there are even finer MJQ records, notably Odds against to-morrow, Modern Jazz Quartet (Atlantic), Fontessa (Atlantic) or European Concert (Atlantic).
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Milestone Album!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 Jun 2004
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Such artists were known a lot for their ALBUMS, like Dave Brubeck, AHmad Jamal, Ramsey Lewis Trio, MIles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Modern Jazz Quartet. The artists mentioned above all have trademark album covers and material on them. For the mjq, this was a common thing. Albums like Django, Concorde, and Fontessa are all trademark albums, and constantly appear in jazz lists and discographies. This album was one of them. All though this album has a lot of "re do's" like Django, and Dont Mean A Swing, we were all introduced to Vendome. And all though, you might of heard of Pyramid before the date of the session of this album, it was not done in an established and well-formed arrangement like this. This album is great. Each man delivered something. John Lewis gave his light, but blues influenced block chord playing, Milt Jackson soulfully strutted his things, Percy Heath delivered rich and fufilling bass lines, and Connie Kay added his light and dynamic drumming to fit the MJQ. This is one of the top five best mjq recordings ever.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Modern Jazz Quartet at its Mature Age 3 Dec 2007
By Mau Tom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have Pyramid in vinyl and for me is among the masterpieces. The importance of this 1958 record is that it contains one of the most striking music composition of all music production after the WW II, namely Django. The Modern Jazz Quartet was at the very best mature period under John Lewis's leadership. Django was already performed hundred times since 1955.
At difference with the other contemporary jazz performance, the music of MJQ is a magic mixture of well defined complex music structure, derived from the classic (Bach JS) background of John Lewis, with fluent melodic swingy melodic improvisation of Milton Jackson. These contrasting personalities are crossing each other all over the record, but again in Django they had the best encounter. The passage from the exciting crescendo of Milton Jackson to the moderate solo of John Lewis is just an outstanding masterpiece. It is like the picture of how, sometime, in the life, you have to slow down and restrain your feeling, you are going to experience the sadness of the final event.
Noteworthy there are also Vendome and Pyramid, the first for its valuable delicious counterpoint, the second for the intense dialog between piano and vibe.
However the MJQ music has a limitation, it is such an unique kind that could not become a genre or a trend either, nobody can imitate them, unfortunately even among jazz funs, MJQ represents a niche without descendants. Still the formal rigour of the MJQ has been served as reference point for widening the world of jazz music in such a manner to allow its acceptance everywhere, including classic conservatories.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connie's Settlin' IN!!!!!!!!!!!! 27 Feb 2004
By Christopher Covais - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The music on this album is absolutely great. It starts off with a fast short swingin tune, typical of MJQ albums. Pyramid swings in 3/4 time, and so do others. It does get boring at the end.(the last two songs) I also feel that this is the first session date that drummer Connie Kay felt more comfurtable in the studio, as he opens up more and plays the skins a little bit more harder, but still keeping the restraint.
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