Customer Review

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defining albums from a unique quartet..., 5 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Jazzology (Audio CD)
The Modern Jazz Quartet, Jazzology, NOT2CD365
Here you will find 3 LPs on 2CDs. The albums are "Django" with 8 tracks and approx 39 minutes running time. The performers are Milt Jackson on vibes; John Lewis on piano; Percy Heath on bass & Kenny Clarke on drums. Together they play 5 compositions by John Lewis & some familiar standards. The recordings were made on various dates between 1953 & 1955 and were originally issued on the Prestige label.
CD2 comprises the albums "Fontessa" with 7 tracks and the personnel the same as above except with Connie Kay now on drums. The tracks were recorded between January & February 1956 and were issued by Atlantic Records. "Concorde" contains 6 tracks and has the same personnel but was recorded in July 1955 and issued on the Prestige label. In total there are 3 compositions by Lewis; 1 by Jackson along with those by Dizzy Gillespie and mainstream composers of the standards era. The total running time for CD2 is approx 73 minutes. The transfers are very good throughout. The origins of the MJQ were the Dizzy Gillespie big band of the 1940s. MJQ ran from 1952 to 1974 and these 3 formative albums are first rate examples of how they were able to play a wide range of compositions giving them all the MJQ sound. Outstanding performances come on CD1 "Autumn in New York" & CD2 with "I'll Remember April" and then a Gershwin medley. The informative liner notes are by Peter Gamble and the set is attractively packaged. Ideal for both collectors and those who wish to sample the best of the early MJQ.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jul 2011 10:03:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jul 2011 10:23:12 BDT
A couple of points to add to your informative review. This issue is depressingly illustrative of the all too common sloppiness of record companies.

1. Why not issue the albums in chronological sequence and follow Django with Concorde - all from 1953 to 1955 - it then would not have been necessary to omit two of Concorde's tracks - namely Concorde (of all things to omit!) and Softly As In A Morning Sunrise.

2. You could then start disc two with Fontessa from 1956 and add another album - No Sun In Venice from 1957, the wonderful album that was not given a name from 1957, Odds Against Tomorrow from 1959, Pyramid from 1959/1960 - I could go on but you get my point.

You can perm any combination of these albums and easily fit two on one CD, but, let me repeat, why not do them chronologically?

However, thank you for your input.

A correction to this post - I have now received this album and can confirm that the missing tracks are, in fact, not missing - they are just not listed by Amazon.

However, my main point about couplings still stands.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2011 09:23:36 GMT
Since, as I write this, the asking price is £2.99, it seems a bit mean-spirited to quibble; it should also be remembered that the albums whose exclusion Mr Day protests about are also available at a very low price on other double CD sets.
His quibbles would be appropriate were this set marketed at full price - but £2.99? Come on, Mr Day!
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C. FULLER
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Location: Brixham, United Kingdom

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