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Modern Jazz Sextet
Modern Jazz Sextet
Modern Jazz Sextet
Genres: Jazz, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1

In some ways, the name of this group makes sense, as pianist John Lewis and bassist Percy Heath represent half of the Modern Jazz Quartet. But in other ways, the tag is a bit misleading. For one, this 1956 blowing session ...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Modern Jazz Sextet
Title: Modern Jazz Sextet
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1999
Re-Release Date: 11/2/1999
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731455983425

Synopsis

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In some ways, the name of this group makes sense, as pianist John Lewis and bassist Percy Heath represent half of the Modern Jazz Quartet. But in other ways, the tag is a bit misleading. For one, this 1956 blowing session is much looser and more high-spirited than your typical MJQ set. For another, a few of the cuts seem to have a retro swing feel (even for 1956), thanks to a relaxed rhythm section that adds guitarist Skeeter Best and drummer Charlie Persip to the Lewis-Heath tandem. That said, the dominant forces here are the two ferocious bop hornmen Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt, who sticks to alto throughout. Even when the rhythm section, anchored by Best's steady pulse, lays back in an easy-flowing swing groove, as on the Gillespie original "Tour de Force," the standard "Mean to Me," or the slow-blues finale, Gillespie and Stitt offer fiery, decidedly boppish lines. In contrast, "Dizzy Meets Sonny" finds everyone in a "modern" high-tempo frenzy. Much has been made of Stitt's resemblance to Charlie Parker on alto, and while those similarities are evident here, Stitt's playing still astonishes, bursting with flurries of notes that seem to flow uncontrollably from his horn--just listen to him explode in the middle of introducing the "Old Folks" melody. Dizzy, as usual, shows great command of the trumpet, whether blaring proudly, moaning low, or scurrying quickly along. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

One of the best jazz albums of all time.
bruce horner | 08/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Every once in a while a group of jazz musicians who didn't form a working group would be thrown together in the studio for a session and through some miracle of chemistry, skill, and luck the resulting album would be an inspired classic. Blue Serge was one such; this is another. There aren't many of them. The relaxed rapport between the MJQers (Lewis and Heath) and Best (guitar), Persip(drums), Gillespie (trumpet), and Stitt (alto) is remarkable, and there's a delectable feeling of a mixing of swing and bop sensibilities. Did Gillespie ever play better than he does here? Not by much I'll bet. This also rates as one of Sonny Stitt's best albums. The elegant, economical swing of Lewis suggests a bebop answer to Count Basie. Truly, everybody is great here, while nobody dominates---a genuine communal effort. The result is unpretentious, winning, and utterly brilliant. Furthermore, the new edition by Verve (part of their Verve Master Edition series) is nicely done on every level. Good sound, both new and original liner notes, original artwork, neat gatefold sleeve. If you can't find it in the used bins, this new edition is well worth it."