Features 24 bit remastering and limited edition. Release Date: December 04, 2013. The idea of the Jazztet playing arrangements by John Lewis written especially for them is intriguing. According to Gene Lees' liner notes, Art Farmer first approached Lewis about writing something for the sextet, to which the composer replied that he'd rather score an entire record. Even though the Jazztet and Lewis' own group, the Modern Jazz Quartet, are dissimilar in many ways, the marriage is a successful one.
A harmonically advanced cool-toned and subtle guitarist, Jim Hall was an inspiration to many guitarists, including some (such as Bill Frisell) who sound nothing like him. Hall attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and studied classical guitar in Los Angeles with Vicente Gómez. He was an original member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet (1955-1956), and during 1956-1959 was with the Jimmy Giuffre Three. After touring with Ella Fitzgerald (1960-1961) and sometimes forming duos with Lee Konitz, Hall was with Sonny Rollins' dynamic quartet in 1961-1962, recording The Bridge. He co-led a quartet with Art Farmer (1962-1964), recorded on an occasional basis with Paul Desmond during 1959-1965 (all of their quartet performances are collected on a Mosaic box set), and then became a New York studio musician…
Pianist/composer/musical director John Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, drummer Kenny Clarke (later replaced by Connie Kay), and bassist Percy Heath formed the Modern Jazz Quartet in the mid 1950s and were still together in the mid '90s (after a six-year break). The group's popular chamber-jazz sound was informed by Lewis's extensive studies in European compositional techniques. Jackson died in 1999, definitively closing the book on the long-lived, enormously influential quartet.
An epic 100 CD chronological documentation of the history of jazz music from 1898 to 1959, housed in four boxed sets. Each box contains 25 slipcase CDs, a booklet (up to 186 pages) and an index. The booklets contain extensive notes (Eng/Fr) with recording dates and line-ups. 31 hours of music in each box, totalling 1677 tracks Each track has been restored and mastered from original sources.
This is one of pianist John Lewis' most rewarding albums outside of his work with the Modern Jazz Quartet. Three numbers (including a remake of "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West") showcase his piano in a quartet with guitarist Jim Hall, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Connie Kay. A 15-and-a-half-minute rendition of "Body and Soul" has one of tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves' finest solos, while "Afternoon in Paris" features a diverse cast with trumpeter Herb Pomeroy, Gunther Schuller on French horn, tenor man Benny Golson, baritonist Jimmy Giuffre, and guitarist Jim Hall; altoist Eric Dolphy cuts everyone.
That sound. One group conceived it. Defined it. Perfected it. The Modern Jazz Quartet was certainly one of the most distinctive voices in the history of jazz, thanks to the unique qualities of personal expression and collective vision of its members Milt Jackson, John Lewis, Percy Heath and Connie Kay (who had replaced original drummer Kenny Clarke by the time the band started recording this music). They were also exceptionally prolific during their tenure at Atlantic Records, producing 14 albums in eight years. And now, that MJQ sound gets the complete respect it deserves, thanks to our new box, The Complete 1956-1964 Modern Jazz Quartet Atlantic Studio Recordings.
The first of two albums the Modern Jazz Quartet recorded at the Music Inn in Lenox, MS, this LP is highlighted by "Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess," "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West," "A Morning in Paris," and "England's Carol" which is the MJQ's reworking of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." Clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre sits in with the group successfully on three numbers; best is "Fun." This is a worthwhile outing that has not yet been reissued on CD.