The Modern Jazz Quartet – The MJQ in the Movies (2022)

Posted by gregg on April 13, 2022as

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1. No Sun in Venice: The Golden Striker (03:40)
2. No Sun in Venice: One Never Knows (09:09)
3. No Sun in Venice: Rose Truc (04:55)
4. No Sun in Venice: Cortege (07:28)
5. No Sun in Venice: Venice (04:26)
6. No Sun in Venice: Three Windows (06:46)
7. Coffee and Cigarettes: Baden-Baden (04:04)
8. Odds Against Tomorrow: Skating in Central Park (06:09)
9. Odds Against Tomorrow: No Happiness for Slater (05:21)
10. Odds Against Tomorrow: A Social Call (04:48)
11. Odds Against Tomorrow: Cue #9 (05:03)
12. Odds Against Tomorrow: A Cold Wind Is Blowing (07:31)
13. Odds Against Tomorrow: Odds Against Tomorrow (03:36)

With their cool, group-oriented sound, bop-inflected improvisations, and classical chamber aesthetics, the Modern Jazz Quartet rose to prominence in the ’50s, expanding the jazz paradigm and bridging the gap between smoky jazz clubs and prestigious concert halls. Led by pianist John Lewis, the MJQ initially featured vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Kenny Clarke (joining later were Percy Heath and Connie Kay). One of the first of the classical-influenced chamber jazz ensembles, the quartet distinguished themselves with textured group interplay and virtuosic improvisational dexterity, skills carried over from the members’ previous work with such lauded jazz innovators as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk. The quartet issued a number of critically acclaimed albums and spawned a handful of classic jazz standards, including their signature 1952 song “Bag’s Groove” (“Bags” being Jackson’s nickname), “Vendome” (originally from 1954’s MJQ), and “Django” (from 1956’s Django). Never straying from their high standards, they enjoyed a four-decade-plus career that found them exploring an array of settings, including collaborations with saxophonist Sonny Rollins and Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida, large ensemble recordings like 1960’s The Modern Jazz Quartet and Orchestra, and forays into soul jazz and other global traditions.

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