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The Modern Jazz Quartet: Django

Album Reviews:

Down Beat (p.69) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Percy Heath had one of the best left hands in the business, and on the title track of DJANGO his notes ring for an extraordinarily long time..."

Album Notes

Modern Jazz Quartet: Milt Jackson (vibraphone); John Lewis (piano); Percy Heath (bass); Kenny Clarke (drums).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on June 25, 1953, December 23, 1954 and January 9, 1955. Originally released on Prestige (7057). Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler.

Modern Jazz Quartet: Milt Jackson (vibraphone); John Lewis (piano); Percy Heath (bass); Kenny Clarke (drums).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on June 25, 1953, December 23, 1954 and January 9, 1955. Originally released on Prestige (7057). Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler.

Digitally remastered by JVC using XRCD (Extended Resolution Compact Disc) technology.

Refined, supremely accomplished, and possessed of a unique sound (courtesy of Milt Jackson's shimmering vibes), the Modern Jazz Quartet set a new standard for the jazz group as chamber ensemble. DJANGO puts these qualities on display, with variety and technical prowess to spare. The title track, a tribute to Gypsy guitar-king Django Reinhardt, written by pianist John Lewis, sets the stage with its bop excursions and change-ups from cool swing to minor-key moodiness (which also appropriately mirrors Reinhardt's music and life). The group's take on "Two Bass Hit" lets bassist Percy Heath take center stage, with support and accents from the others.

"La Ronde Suite" is a near-10-minute four-part suit of shifting colors, highlighting each member on their respective instruments (drummer Kenny Clarke takes a rare solo spot here). Two more Lewis tunes, "The Queen's Fancy" (a jazzy march) and the ballad "Milano," bracket two notable readings of standards--"Autumn in New York" (Jackson's vibes create a wistful effect) and "But Not For Me." For an early demonstration of the MJQ's classic sound (it was recorded in 1953), DJANGO remains one of the key albums in their discography. (The Extended Resolution reissue provides superior audiophile quality.)



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