I have always thought that The Modern Jazz Quartet was a pretentious name for an ensemble. Likewise, I have always been somewhat averse to their hipster brand of sophisto-bop. But recently they have won me over on the strength of their early LPs. And how could I ever dislike Milt Jackson?
- Wizard of the Vibes (1952, solo Milt Jackson) A
- Concorde (1955) A-
- The vibraphones of Milt Jackson are enough to make this experiment worthwhile. He keeps things cool and relaxed, hoping that the rest of the Quartet’s ideas can catch up.
- Django (1956) A-
- The opening title track is one of the Quartet’s most famous, and rightfully so. It represents everything they stand for: if you don’t listen you don’t get it.
- Fontessa (1956) A-
- Milt Jackson and The Modern Jazz Quartet come together for a masterclass in restrained showmanship. Eerie, sophisticated and slightly pretentious, but in all the right places.