Sonny Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet

Performers Sonny Rollins/The Modern Jazz Quartet

Prestige Records | April 1, 2003 | Compact Disc

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Sonny Rollins' (tenor sax) earliest sessions as a bandleader are among the fresh and vibrant baker's dozen of selections on With the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) (1971). However the title is somewhat of a misnomer as the MJQ -- featuring the respective talents of John Lewis (piano), Milt Jackson (vibes), Percy Heath (bass) and Kenny Clarke (drums) -- only appear on the platter's first four sides. In many ways Rollins' is a perfect foil for the MJQ. His playful and energetic tone literally bounces off of Jackson's fluid vibraphone lines, as heard throughout their solos on the opening track "Stopper." The same holds true for "Almost Like Falling in Love" as the cut swings from tip to tail with some expressive phrasing from Lewis who bridges the solos of both Rollins' and Jackson. This connection can be heard on Rollins' own "No Moe," which also stands as one of the best originals on the disc. Saving the best for last is the absolute scintillation of "In a Sentimental Mood." Rollins' smoky and ethereal leads spiral against Jackson's resonant shimmer. For this rendering alone, these sessions should be considered a vital component in any jazz enthusiasts' collection. The lion's share of the remaining material is performed by a Rollins-led quartet that also includes the formidable support of Kenny Drew (piano), the MJQ's Percy Heath (bass) and main Jazz Messenger, Art Blakey (drums). "Scoops" is another original that highlights both Blakey's aggressive interjections as well as Rollins' highly infectious melodic sense. While on the subject of catchy tunes, all ears should be directed to the biblically-derived title "Shadrack," which had been a signature piece for Louis Armstrong. This early incarnation of the Sonny Rollins Quartet have rarely sounded as cohesive as they collectively percolate with their definitive execution. Of particular note is the inclusion of Miles Davis' "I Know" -- an extension of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation" -- which features Davis on piano accompanying Rollins with solid chord progressions that allow the burgeoning player to lead his first-ever quartet with Heath and Roy Haynes (drums). [In 2003, Prestige reissued this album in 20-bit remastered sound.] ~ Lindsay Planer

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: April 1, 2003

Genre: Bebop

Style: Jazz Instrument

Number of Discs: 1

Stereo/Mono: Mono

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 1953

Label Name: Prestige Records

UPC: 025218485920

Found in: Bebop

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Sonny Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet

Sonny Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet

Performers Sonny Rollins/The Modern Jazz Quartet
Guest Artist(s) Art Blakey, John Lewis, Kenny Clarke, Kenny Drew, Miles Davis, Milt Jackson, Percy Heath, Roy Haynes

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: April 1, 2003

Genre: Bebop

Style: Jazz Instrument

Number of Discs: 1

Stereo/Mono: Mono

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 1953

Label Name: Prestige Records

UPC: 025218485920


Title Track Time
1.Stopper, The --
2.Almost Like Being In Love --
3.No Moe --
4.In A Sentimental Mood --
5.Scoops --
6.With A Song In My Heart --
7.Newk's Fadeaway --
8.Time On My Hands --
9.This Love Of Mine --
10.Shadrack --
11.On A Slow Boat To China --
12.Mambo Bounce --
13.I Know --

Editorial Notes

Sonny Rollins' (tenor sax) earliest sessions as a bandleader are among the fresh and vibrant baker's dozen of selections on With the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) (1971). However the title is somewhat of a misnomer as the MJQ -- featuring the respective talents of John Lewis (piano), Milt Jackson (vibes), Percy Heath (bass) and Kenny Clarke (drums) -- only appear on the platter's first four sides. In many ways Rollins' is a perfect foil for the MJQ. His playful and energetic tone literally bounces off of Jackson's fluid vibraphone lines, as heard throughout their solos on the opening track "Stopper." The same holds true for "Almost Like Falling in Love" as the cut swings from tip to tail with some expressive phrasing from Lewis who bridges the solos of both Rollins' and Jackson. This connection can be heard on Rollins' own "No Moe," which also stands as one of the best originals on the disc. Saving the best for last is the absolute scintillation of "In a Sentimental Mood." Rollins' smoky and ethereal leads spiral against Jackson's resonant shimmer. For this rendering alone, these sessions should be considered a vital component in any jazz enthusiasts' collection. The lion's share of the remaining material is performed by a Rollins-led quartet that also includes the formidable support of Kenny Drew (piano), the MJQ's Percy Heath (bass) and main Jazz Messenger, Art Blakey (drums). "Scoops" is another original that highlights both Blakey's aggressive interjections as well as Rollins' highly infectious melodic sense. While on the subject of catchy tunes, all ears should be directed to the biblically-derived title "Shadrack," which had been a signature piece for Louis Armstrong. This early incarnation of the Sonny Rollins Quartet have rarely sounded as cohesive as they collectively percolate with their definitive execution. Of particular note is the inclusion of Miles Davis' "I Know" -- an extension of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation" -- which features Davis on piano accompanying Rollins with solid chord progressions that allow the burgeoning player to lead his first-ever quartet with Heath and Roy Haynes (drums). [In 2003, Prestige reissued this album in 20-bit remastered sound.] ~ Lindsay Planer
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