Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Modern Jazz Quartet [Savoy]

This album is certain to be placed in the MJQ section of any shop that carries it. In reality though, only four of the cuts here feature the permanent, stand-alone, 1952-vintage Modern Jazz Quartet; the other eight having been done in the summer and fall of 1951, when they were still known as the Milt Jackson Quartet, with Jackson providing all of the original material. The differences are so subtle as to be indistinguishable -- Milt Jackson and John Lewis are on every cut, while Al Johns subs for Kenny Clarke on drums, and Ray Brown precedes Percy Heath on four of the tracks. Clarke's drumming is more impressive in its quiet way, but Ray Brown's bass work is simpler and more forceful. The sound is fair, with some hints of distortion that's been repaired, on this otherwise nicely done reissue. [The 2003 reissue on Savoy Jazz changed the title of the original album to Beginnings and added two bonus tracks: a 1949 version of "Bluesology" by Milt Jackson, and a large group featuring Billy Mitchell on sax and Roy Haynes on drums, and a 1954 version of "Blues Mood" by Kenny Clarke with Milt Jackson and Percy Heath.]
Bruce Eder

Source :

The Modern Jazz Quartet
Modern Jazz Quartet


1 Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise (Hammerstein, Romberg) 3:25
2 Love Me, Pretty Baby (Gillespie) 3:35
3 Autumn Breeze (Jackson) 2:54
4 Milt Meets Sid (Jackson) 3:03
5 Moving Nicely (Jackson) 3:12
6 D and E (Lewis) 2:52
7 Heart and Soul (Carmichael, Loesser) 2:27
8 True Blues (Jackson) 2:59
9 Bluesology (Jackson) 2:45
10 Yesterdays (Harbach, Kern) 2:30
11 'Round About Midnight (Hanighen, Monk, Williams) 2:55
12 Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Arlen, Koehler) 2:35

[# 1, 2, 7 & 8]
Milt Jackson - vb
John Lewis - p
Percy Heath - b
Kenny Clarke - dr
Recorded on April, 1952
[# 4, 6, 10 & 12]
Milt Jackson - vb
John Lewis - p
Ray Brown - b
Kenny Clarke - dr
Recorded on August 24, 1951
[# 3, 5, 9 & 11]
Milt Jackson - vb
John Lewis - p
Percy Heath - b
Al Johns - dr
Recorded on September 18, 1952


rowgatien said...

Thank you!

thoth said...

al musician to me. just learned something. have a feeling he will be no clarke, but who is? thank you so much for sharing.

L.O.L. said...


Melanchthon said...

Lenny said...

Thanks Mel

Kneigh said...

Many thanx for this MJQ post, Melanchthon!! I missed the original post, and didn't see it when you re-up'd. Just happened to spot it today, as I've always been an MJQ fan!!