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10 Reviews
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MJQ - the quiet revolutionaries, 16 Nov 2003
This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
This was actually one of the first (proper) jazz records I ever heard and I have recently bought it on CD. The MJQ were a strange outfit because many thought the format wouldn,t work (no horns, two similar sounding instruments - vibes and piano, playing Bach! and Christmas carols!!). However, my recent listening of this lovely recording only serves to reinforce the thoughts I had when I first heard it. These guys can swing but they do it with such an effortless grace that you actually feel yourself moving along with them. The CD also contains some classic jazz standards (Round Midnight, Night in Tunisia) that listeners new to jazz will find accessible - Night in Tunisia is my all time favourite example of pianist John Lewis's effortless way with melody and harmony. The thing about the MJQ - and this live offering is surley their best album as they have time to really stretch out - is that they repay repeated listening. Every ounce of melody and improvisation starts getting inside your head - makes you laugh, clap your hands and thank god that you're alive. But, this is not cocktail music (although the uninformed have often seen it as so); the way the guys play with a tune, transform it, add light and shade is truley a testiment to their experiences at the very start of the Bebop tradition in jazz - a revolution at the time. Rap music this aint. This is proper harmonic music, the best elements of the jazz tradition combined with a subtle blend of enthusiasm and respect for the structure of a tune. Forget this album if you want music that shouts in your face and insults your intelligence but buy it if you want an uplifting, human, reaction to the creation of sound by four guys looking back over their body of work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
Had MJQ on vinyl many years ago, great to listen to them again and their playing is so layed back. Superb
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4.0 out of 5 stars where recital meets show, 26 April 2014
By 
ds "Lagerd" (West Allis, WI) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
This review comes from a decidedly non jazz-centric perspective. While I do enjoy some forms of jazz I'm not a big fan of solo brass (trumpet, sax) or wild improvisation. Don't ask me what bop or post-bop means but I do appreciate the cool style forwarded by MJQ. Their sense of melody and precision with an innate melancholic mood (with an option to swing) is a unique combination in the jazz arena, thus a unique sound. I've had numerous MJQ albums through the years but the two I've enjoyed the most are oddly the 2 that are disparaged the most among the hard-core - BLUES ON BACH and IN MEMORIUM. And this is probably the closest I'll get to hearing the latter on CD as it's two main pieces ('Concerto de Aranjuez' and 'In Memorium') are included in this live set. That's about 25 minutes worth of music from that lovely album not available anywhere else. Most of the tracks from this concert are culled from John Lewis' vast songbook with a handful of Milt Jackson pieces and jazz standards mixed in to provide a representative career sampling of this legendary ensemble. The playing is exquisite and while an MJQ concert has an air of sophistication about it, the crowd is obviously not sitting on their hands. This is where recital meets show.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chamber Jazz that swings like mad, 21 April 2014
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RayB "Ray Burns" (Chelmsford, Essex , United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
A chance hearing of 'The Golden Striker' on the radio in that late fifties was one of the catalysts that fired my love of modern jazz and then back in the early sixties when I was starting a collection of jazz albums someone gave me a copy of the MJQ's 'Django'. It's been a love affair with the group ever since. Strange then that this album has managed to pass me by for all the years since it was first issued back in the mid seventies because this is one of their very best.
They are a truly outstanding outfit, tight and swinging and not at all the straight laced band that their detractors would have us believe. Based on the flexible rhythms laid down by Percy Heath & Connie Kay on bass & drums John Lewis and Milt Jackson weave magical lines of improvisation. They were one of jazz's greatest bands and this album should be in every jazz lovers collection and I'm very glad I have it now, it's sure to be well played in the coming years. Very highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely great jazz!, 14 Mar 2013
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Erik Preben Pedersen "Jazzbum" (Espergaerde, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
When you hear this music and recording, you realize that it's difficult to find better chamber jazz than this.
These musicians are/were giants, and I wish they as a quartet had continued beyond 1974 and blessed their surroundings with more elegant and swinging versions of the standards.
Great record!
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5.0 out of 5 stars sublime, 25 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
The modern Jazz quartet ! What a great group of musicians. Fantastic concert, not only blues and Jaee, but I also hear classical influences. great concert. really.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restored, 17 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
This was a replacement for a lost and much loved CD that disappeared from my car. So you will understand my joy at being re-united with it. Exceptional masters of their art.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top class, 4 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
Bought this for my husband, a great MJQ fan. He used to own a lot of their LPs so was thrilled to hear them again. Good quality sound
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought this for my husband, I was trying to cheer him up. I succeeded, 26 April 2013
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This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
My husband hasn't heard these tracks for many years since ditching his vinyl and not replacing it. It brings back many very happy memories and like a fine wine, has improved over time.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 Jan 2010
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Mr. B. D. Milne "Barrythethatch" (Southport, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Concert (Audio CD)
Have been a big fan of the MJQ for years and to get a recording of their last concert was brilliant.
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The Complete Last Concert (US Release)
The Complete Last Concert (US Release) by The Modern Jazz Quartet
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