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Bebop Spoken There

Dayna Stephens: "I always tell them [students] there will never be anyone who will play it [EWI] as technically proficient as this cat [Michael Brecker] did." - (JazzTimes June 2019).

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Today Tuesday June 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Trio Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, November 23, 2012

CD Review: Modern Jazz Quartet - Original Album Series.

John Lewis (pno); Milt Jackson (vbs); Percy Heath (bs); Connie Kay (dms). + Jimmy Giuffre Three,  Beaux Arts String Quartet.
(Review by Lance.)
Another release in Warner Jazz's Original Album Series this time featuring five albums by the MJQ from the early 1960s. I've always viewed the Modern Jazz Quartet with reservations. When they get it right they are on the money and on The Sheriff and Pyramid they do just that. Jackson's vibes are always a delight - a cool mint julep on a sunny day. Lewis, economical, never a note out of place with a very melodic side to his playing - the guiding light. Strangely enough, I think Lewis would also have made a good vibes player. Heath and Kay provide the solid foundation beneath it all.
Lonely Woman is as enigmatic as the title. The four musicians maintain the same high standards but, at times, the tempos drag a little for my own personal taste. Still, I suppose, if you title an album Lonely woman it would be a bit much to expect an up-tempo romp!
The Modern Jazz Quartet & Orchestra  says it all - MJQ with an orchestra. At time pretentious, at other times, quietly swinging, blues tinged jazz with Lewis or Jackson fighting to overcome the orchestration and, to be fair, they usually do. Listening to this one for a second time I have to admit the arrangements - presumably by Lewis (the original LP sleeve has been condensed to CD size meaning it would take a Jodrell Bank telescope to amplify it to readable proportions) don't get too much in the way of the soloists.
However, Third Stream Music/The Modern Jazz Quartet & Guests; The Jimmy Giuffre Three & The Beaux Arts String Quartet is pretension personified. This one didn't cut it for me. Still 4 out 5 isn't a bad deal - you can always use the latter disc as a coaster and the other 4 are well worth the moolah.
Modern Jazz Quartet - Original Album Series is released on December 10, 2012.
Lance.

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