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Thread: The Modern Jazz Quartet

  1. #1
    Andante
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    Default The Modern Jazz Quartet

    I have mentioned the MJQ [modern jazz quartet] a couple of times in past posting but it has not generated any responses so I thought I would make one final effort to bring this Jazz Quartet into the light, and as words cannot do the music justice I have added 3 links, I hope I don’t get into trouble but how else to do it?

    The history of the MJQ can be checked on many web pages so this is a brief intro only.
    It was formed in 1952 from the rhythm section of the Dizzy Gillespie band as a interval fill in, they sounded so good that it became an established part of the program,
    Original members were:
    Milt Jackson Vibraphone
    John Lewis Piano
    Percy Heath Bas
    Kenny Clarke Drums
    Clarke dropped out in 1955 and was replaced by Connie Kay and this was the MJQ line up that survived, unchanged until they disbanded in 1974

    Lewis attended Manhattan school of music where he studied counterpoint in renaissance and baroque music and he brought these, together with fugue into the Jazz world, his counterpoint melody accompaniment to the inventive vibraphone of Milt Jackson proved to be a winning combination that lasted until the end and produced a new type of jazz that was simple, restrained and intelligent with ideas from both Classical and bop, it was to become known as Cool Jazz.
    It is the nearest thing that I have heard that approaches chamber music.
    Below are 2 links where you can hear short clips of their music.
    http://www.mp3.com/albums/590498/sum...&om_clk=artalb

    http://www.mp3.com/albums/637556/sum...&om_clk=artalb



    And this is a short work from my collection called Vendome.

    http://www.box.net/shared/ldb283a6od

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    I'm familiar enough with MJQ - nice relaxed sound. I have 2 albums - Concorde and No Sun in Venice.

    Great musicians.

  3. #3
    Andante
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    I also have Concord, it is valued at up to US$75, dont throw away your old vinals lol.

  4. #4
    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    I certainly like MJQ. I have Fontessa and Django and I'm on the look-out for Concord and Dedicated to Connie. They have a nice sound... but I have to admit I tend to go a bit more for the harder bop of Miles, Coletrane, Monk, etc... If you are intrigued by the link between MJQ and classical music you might want to check out Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz. At times both verge upon echoes of Debussy... or even more modern chamber music.
    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

    Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with
    those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

    Pablo Picasso

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    i've not heard them in a long time. they did a great 'summertime' from porgy& bess.

    dj

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    I'm late to the party on this one but my son had drum lessons from Tutti Heath about 14 years ago. He was the substitute drummer and a great jazz drummer in his own right. We attended a performance of the MJQ about 1995 or so at at the Cerritos Center for the Perfoming Arts in Cerritos, CA and my son was able to meet all of the members and get his program signed by all except John Lewis. They have all passed away except for Tutti Heath. My son was 12 at the time.

  7. #7
    Andante
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    shsherm Is Tutti Heath a son of Percy Heath the Bass player, I am out of touch with to days Jazz, but I do like the bop as mentioned by stlukesguild2

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    Tutti Heath was the brother of Percy Heath. Percy Heath died a year or two ago so Tutti is possibly the only MJQ member stiill living. He lives in Altadena, California and Percy lived in Montauk at the tip of Long Island, New York. I heard an interview a few years ago on NPR where he said that deep sea fishing on his boat was a favorite activity. The Heath brothers grew up in Philadelphia, PA.
    Last edited by shsherm; Mar-07-2008 at 09:27. Reason: Added sentence

  9. #9
    Senior Member BuddhaBandit's Avatar
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    I love the MJQ. I was introduced to them through Lewis' solo recordings, Evolution and Evolution II, which showcase his brilliance with minimalism.
    Take a look at the Bandit's blog, Americana Avenue.

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