The Modern Jazz Quartet (1988) LIVE in Munich

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The Modern Jazz Quartet (1988) LIVE in Munich

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Track List:

0:00 Reunion Blues 5:50 Maestro E.K.E. 14:20 Sepia Panorama 20:33 It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) 29:26 One Never Knows 37:52 A Day In Dubrovnik 54:28 Django

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The Modern Jazz Quartet

The Modern Jazz Quartet (abbreviated as MJQ) was an American jazz musical group that developed its career between 1952 and 1993.

Representative of the cool style and linked to the Third Stream, its original members were Milt Jackson (vibraphone), John Lewis (piano and musical direction), Percy Heath (double bass) and Kenny Clarke (drums); Connie Kay1 would replace Clarke in 1955.

Milt Jackson, Lewis and Clarke had originally played together in a collaborative quartet with Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra between 1946 and 1950. Along with Ray Brown, they played interludes to help trumpeters recover. The same group recorded in 1951 under the name of Milt Jackson Quartet.

In principle, Jackson and Lewis shared the musical direction of the group, but finally the responsibility was assumed completely by Lewis.

Although he made several forays into classical music, the group’s repertoire soon focused on bop and swing. Among the band’s original compositions are Lewis’s ‘Django’ (an homage to Django Reinhardt), Lewis’s ‘Afternoon in Paris,’ and Jackson’s ‘Bags’ Groove’ (‘Bags’ was Jackson’s nickname).

The group signed first with Prestige Records and then, in the 1950s, with Atlantic Records. At the end of the sixties, in the middle of two stages with Atlantic, they signed with Apple Records, the label of the Beatles (being the only jazz group on the label), and made two albums, Under the Jasmine Tree (1967) and Space (1969).

Jackson left the group in 1974 partly because he was looking for a freer style of playing and partly because he understood that his financial income was low (compared to rock and roll stars). The group disbanded and later reorganized in 1981 to play festivals and later on for six months a year. The group’s last recording was made in 1993.


  • 1951 – The Modern Jazz Quartet [1951] (Prestige)
  • 1951 – Modern Jazz Quartet (Original Jazz Classics)
  • 1952 – Modern Jazz Quartet, Vol. 1: With Milt Jackson (Prestige)
  • 1956 – Fontessa (Atlantic)
  • 1957 – Third Stream Music (Atlantic)
  • 1958 – The Modern Jazz Quartet with Sonny Rollins (Atlantic)
  • 1959 – Pyramid (Atlantic)
  • 1960 – European Concert [live] (Atlantic)
  • 1960 – Dedicated to Connie [live] (Atlantic)
  • 1962 – Lonely Woman (Atlantic)
  • 1964 – Collaboration with Almeida (Atlantic)
  • 1974 – Blues on Bach (Atlantic)
  • 1974 – The Complete Last Concert [live] (Atlantic)
  • 1974 – The Last Concert [live] (Atlantic)
  • 1984 – Echoes (Pablo)
  • 1992 – Celebration (Atlantic)
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