Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The Modern Jazz Quartet Bargains
Either you are for or against The Modern Jazz Quartet, there is no middle ground. I am very much in the 'for' camp, and have always been a big fan of their chamber style jazz with its classical resonances. Yes, they can sometimes lapse into easy-listening mode; but that's a small price to pay for standards such as Django - see video below, the sound improves after one minute. Talking of small prices Avid Jazz have remastered and repackaged a quartet of classic early JMQ albums onto the super-budget priced double CD seen above. I paid just £5 ($7.80US) which must be the modern jazz bargain of the year, and there are similar priced double CDs of Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk. Don't be put off by the 1950s recording dates, the stereo sound and new transfers by Dave Bennett are excellent and put a lot of digital offerings to shame. And a bonus point for the artwork and booklet essay which would not be out of place on a a full-priced release.
Jacques Loussier is one of many MJQ imitators. Loussier's Messe Lumieres was commissioned for the consecration of the new Cathedral of the Resurrection at Evry in France. If any reader can find me a recording of his elusive Messe Lumieres I would be absolutely delighted - read more here.
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