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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2009
Yet another absolute gem from the Avid Jazz label containing one set that has been missing from the catalogues far too long.
CD 1 kicks off with the 5 tracks from "The Modern Jazz Sextet" a 1956 session featuring Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt with John Lewis, Percy Heath Skeeter Best (gtr) and Charlie Persip (dms). This is music of the highest quality with everyone at the top of their game. Rounding off the frist CD is the complete "No Sun In Venice" sessions from the Modern Jazz Quartet. I had not heard this in its entirety before and thoroughly enjoyed the cleverly composed and arranged score.
CD 2 starts with all 6 tracks from the album "Grand Encounter 2 Degrees East- 3 Degrees West" featuring Lewis, Bill Perkins, Percy Heath, Jim Hall and Chico Hamilton. This is a superb example of jazz with "none of the tempos above a fast walk". This must be the finest session ever put on record by Perkins but, once again, everyone is on top form. Next up are three tracks from the MJQ being half of the album "The MJQ and the Oscar Peterson Trio at the Opera House". This is a short set but more of an out and out jazz one than usual. Recording quality not so good as the other tracks but still worthwhile.
Last, but no no means least, we have, at long last, the re-issue of "The Modern Jazz Society" sub-titled "A concert of contemporary music". The session was supervised by Lewis who does not play. All five pieces were composed by Lewis and the soloists include Stan Getz, J.J. Johnson, Lucky Thompson, Tony Scott and Aaron Sachs. This was labelled third stream when it first appeared but is rightly considered a classic that has been un-available for far too long. The solo by Getz on "The Queen's Fancy" is worth the price alone. Apart from the Opera House tracks the recording quality is first class.
Now for a little moan. The "Society" tracks have become mis-labelled on the sleeve notes and should read as follows:-
11 = Little David's Fugue
12 = Django
13 = The Queen's Fancy (as listed)
14 = Midsommer
15 = Sun Dance (as listed)
Tony Scott is listed as Anthony Sciacca on these tracks. The sleeve note says changed his name to Tony Scott after this session but I think this is wrong. He reverted to his real name to avoid contractual problems. I have records by him as Scott pre-dating this session.
Needless to say, this issue is thoroughly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
When I first moved into a flat with 3 others in the early sixties, a lot of these tracks, which we had on vinyl, we played over and over again - until you could almost see through the L.P's. The pleasure they gave us was immeasurable. I purloined the "Grand Encounter L.P." from my flat mate Ron Fergy and seeing the compilation reminded me of my longterm "borrowing". I sent one of your C.D.'s to him recently with a note saying "Long term debt repaid after 45 years."
They sound just as good to me today as they did then and at the offer price they are a steal and I have already bought 7 copies, one for myself and the others as presents.
If you like Lewis and/or the M.J.Q. you won't be disappointed. The C.D. is worth the price just for "No Sun in Venice" alone. Sit back and enjoy !
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There is some excellent music on this selection. The first CD is from 1956 and features John Lewis with Gillespie, Stitt (alto), Heath, Skeeter Best (gtr), Persip. This is a fine "post bebop" sextet recording. Gillespie and Stitt are on top form and are well supported by the rest of the group. Then there is the music from the film "No Sun In Venice" by the MJQ (JL, MJ, Ph, CC) recorded 1957. Six tracks including the well known " The Golden Striker". Again excellent.
The second CD starts with "Grand Encounter" from 1956 featuring JL, PH, Bill Perkins (tnr), Chico Hamilton (d) and finally but not lastly the fabulous guitarist, Jim Hall who is well featured. Bill Perkins plays well. An excellent album. Then three MJQ tracks from a concert recording from 1957 are squeezed in before the final album: "A Concert of Modern Music" featuring a group of well knowns e.g. Stan Getz, JJ Johnson and others less well known....but no John Lewis! He composed the five tunes (which incidentally are misnamed on the sleeve and included, otherwise helpful, booklet). Some good music here, but it seems strange not to include performances by John Lewis.
One star deducted because of the fourth album. Otherwise an excellent good value for money purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 May 2011
Worthy replacement for Vinyls lost or lent and never returned...
'Modern Jazz Society' and 'Modern Jazz Sextet' particularly interesting.
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on 17 March 2013
One Never Knows (efter the french movie Sait-on Jamais) is MJQ's best recording in parallell with European Concert.
With a proper Hi-fi equipment it partly sounds heavenly.
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on 9 December 2010
There's not much I can say about this other than ,if you like the M.J.Q.and John Lewis,go out and buy it straight away,four albums plus it's an absolute bargain.
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on 21 December 2014
One of four albums was outstanding when Lewis was involved in a quintet but the others were also very acceptable Derek Pollard
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on 1 March 2015
Only one of the discs would play so had to return it and am still waiting for the replacement.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2011
I was pleased to listen again to the EP (extended play vynil) of the Modern Jazz Society Presents a Concert of Contemporary Music now available on this CD compilation. However the passage of time has taken its toll I fear and although I enjoyed listening to some of the tracks, I feel that this particular CD does not do justice to much great jazz around at the same time. It was all pretty mundane stuff and the bands represented here were very ordinary. Nothing set me alight in terms of rythmn, improvisation or harmony. Its historic and will have its appeal to a certain audience but jazz has progressed and I like better "newer artistes" such as; Joey De Francesco, Charles Earland and even John Mcloughlin (none hardly new, but of a different ilk and era.) Jazz has moved on and even though nostalgia has its place, this isn't the best nostalgia collection to my mind.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2010
I bought this for the "No Sun in Venice" tracks because I enjoyed them for many years on vinyl. It is as good as the vinyl - and the other 3 albums are an extra treat.
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