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17 Reviews
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70 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MID-FIFTIES CHAMBER JAZZ
I'm not sure why the decision was taken to ignore chronological sequence, but CD 1 kicks off with the group-titled April 1957 album, before regressing to the earlier "Django", noteworthy for the four-part "La Ronde Suite" and for drummer Kenny Clarke's last studio appearance with the quartet. The second CD contains two 1956 albums; the earlier stately "Fontessa" which...
Published on 8 July 2008 by Barry McCanna

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Abomination To Some Classic Albums
Whilst, on the face of it, this cd looks to be great value, what with four classic Modern Jazz Quartet albums, it is in all actuality far from it.

Upon listening to the first track it became immediately evident that the sound quality was not up to par. However in a move of misplaced faith in the skills of the people at "avid jazz" I listened to the whole...
Published 20 months ago by B. Collins


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70 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MID-FIFTIES CHAMBER JAZZ, 8 July 2008
By 
Barry McCanna (Normandy, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
I'm not sure why the decision was taken to ignore chronological sequence, but CD 1 kicks off with the group-titled April 1957 album, before regressing to the earlier "Django", noteworthy for the four-part "La Ronde Suite" and for drummer Kenny Clarke's last studio appearance with the quartet. The second CD contains two 1956 albums; the earlier stately "Fontessa" which drew inspiration from the improvised form of the Renaissance commedia dell'arte, and the August "Music Inn" session at which clarinettist Jimmy Giuffre guested on three tracks. This is essentially cerebral music, appreciation of which is aided by the crisp and clear remastering. A considerable bargain.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The MJQ Just Get Better With Time, 29 May 2009
By 
Mr. SM Stewart "Sternoman" (MAGHERAFELT, County Londonderry United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
I bought these albums as LPs back in the mid 60s. They were part of my introduction to Modern Jazz. What attracted me to the MJQ was the unusual combination of the traditional drums, piano and bass with the vibraphone in the expert hands of Milt Jackson. The diversity in the tracks on these two CDs will appeal to a wide audience of 'oldie' jazz fans as well as those new to the genre. It was groundbreaking music when it first came out, and it has stood the test of time and has still got that unique quality which has remained unsurpassed for half a century.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Abomination To Some Classic Albums, 26 Nov 2012
By 
B. Collins - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
Whilst, on the face of it, this cd looks to be great value, what with four classic Modern Jazz Quartet albums, it is in all actuality far from it.

Upon listening to the first track it became immediately evident that the sound quality was not up to par. However in a move of misplaced faith in the skills of the people at "avid jazz" I listened to the whole collection, desperately hoping for just one track whose mastering quality didn't resemble a flatulent elephant; dull and grey with copious amounts of unwanted noise.

Having compared the tracks with alternative releases of both Django and Fontessa I can be absolutely positive that the problem is not a fault of the original recordings. Rather the problem lies with the farce that is Avid ltd.

Avid claims the tracks on the two cds have been "digitally remastered, for probably the finest ever sound quality". Either they are deaf, ignorant, or barefaced lying. I wonder which of the three is more likely.

What's more is that the problems mentioned above are not limited to this release, Having purchased several avid jazz releases in one big mistake of a decision I found that the problem appears to span their entire catalogue. In fact I was amazed (and almost impressed) to find the problem of sound quality escalated to unprecedented heights on certain tracks.

My suggestion to anyone looking to buy this, or any other release by Avid ltd, is to put aside any enticement at the low price and avoid their thoroughly butchered classics like the plague.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Good Idea - Yet..., 28 Nov 2009
By 
Lewis Graham "lewisgraham" (East Anglia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
I bought this album when it popped up on Amazon as a recommendation. I already had one MJQ album and enjoyed it, so even though it meant repeating some tracks I felt it was good value.

These four albums are at a high-point in the quartets career. Excellent playing, excellent inter-pay between players, this could be the Amadeus Quartet playing Beethoven: it is special music making.

Then I played the tracks on my iPod and something was wrong. Eventually going home to my main hi-fi (mostly valves and the price of a small car) did the problem become clear. The remastering of the CDs is duff. The original CD I have of "The Modern Jazz Quartet" of the track "Bag's Groove" was fully alive: the one on this album sounded muddy. The vibraphone lacks the shimmer expected, the drums are all wrong and the piano is distant. Whilst it might be argued that on an iPod no-one would know or care, having listened to it on my iPod Classic with reasonable headphone you truly can hear a difference.

I am disappointed at this disc in a way that I rarely am with many releases. It had a lot of promise and offers the chance to share this music with non-Jazz people, but not if it sounds this poor. There are much better editions than these.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great disaster, 3 Jan 2012
This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
The albums are very important but the remaster is poor, in my country we say
"They threw the baby out with the bath water throughout"
In an attempt to eliminate the background noise have killed high-frequency sounding too gloomy.
Buy the original cd's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 4 July 2010
By 
F. Caves (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
My favourite Jazz piece is "The man that got away" played by John Lewis at Music Inn. I have had the LP for over 50 years. But it's a bit scratchy.
The only CD versions before this , inexplicably omitted this track!
But this is complete, and fantastic value, with the 3 other LPs as well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars for style and ambience and music, 16 May 2009
By 
J. Blackie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
If you enjoy real music, laced with jazz rhythms and glorious harmonies then you cannot go far wrong with this. In its time it as big a find as Vivaldi or Rachmaninov if you have not heard them before. The quality of the remastering is very high too. I know because I have the original vinyl version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music to swing with, 14 April 2011
This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
I say it's "music to swing with" because the last track I heard before a round of golf was Django which kept playing in my head throughout the game - I consider it no coincidence that I played well that day! It has to be said that I need to pick the tracks that I genuinely enjoy but out of 4 LPs I feel I've got my money's worth. Some of it may be an acquired taste and yet there a a few tracks that jazz-lovers will take to immediately. It's lovely music to play at home alone if you are preparing a meal, drinking, reading or perhaps studying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the MJQ fans, 31 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
As an oldie I have loved listening to their skilled and pleasing performances. sadly they are no more but they have been part of my life. Great to add these tracks to my personal collection. Good service.
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5.0 out of 5 stars MJQ - Four Classic Albums, 15 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Four Classic Albums (The Modern Jazz Quartet / Django / Fontessa / The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn) (Audio CD)
I've been fortunate enough to see the MJQ (many years ago) live, on stage. This collection is great and all that I expect from them. It reflects the depths they found, so easily, in pieces of music that we, the listeners, might never suspect to exist. The ultimate demonstration, for and of this, can be found in John Lewis's rewrite of 'God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen'. Much of it is performed by Milt Jackson and, just when you think you've lost the original tune, you'll hear a short reference to it, then it comes back, goes away and returns, teasing its way through the whole thing. Brilliant!
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