MusicDish e-Journal - December 15, 2018
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Sonny Rollins and The Modern Jazz Quartet
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
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Artist: Sonny Rollins and The Modern Jazz Quartet
Title: Sonny Rollins With The Modern Jazz Quartet (1951, 1953/2003)
Label: Prestige (
Genre: Jazz/Bop, Post-Bop
Format: 20 Bit K2 Super Coding Remaster

Sonny Rollins With The Modern Jazz Quartet features some of the early recordings of Sonny Rollins when he became a bandleader. It was evident early on Rollins had the talent and sense of innovation to become one of the great leaders in a jazz band, which he did. There are three different prolific lineups to reflect upon while listening to this remastered set.

In 1951 the Sonny Rollins Quartet recorded with different personnel, most notably Miles Davis, on piano, and Art Blakey on drums. In 1953, he joined in on sessions with the soon to be firmly established Modern Jazz Quartet.

The fifties would prove to be a critically acclaimed era for many jazz icons and Rollins easily falls into that realm as these recordings bear out the truth in every note played. I found it interesting however how short every track was, when the status quo for a jazz tune fell into the range of 4-8 minutes in length. Regardless of length, every composition was clearly jazz advancing at its very best. "Shadrack" (not a Rollins original) as short as it was (2:32), got my attention quickly and was surely one of the more blues injected numbers on the set and a great example of his musical genius. Of course, many more tracks were just as important with many defining moments. That track in particular really aroused my senses.

I without fail find the recordings remastered from the fifties to be the most enduring and historically important to the jazz genre and the culture that took root around the music. This is one more slice of the all-encompassing jazz pie that Fantasy Jazz continues to offer us. Keep your ears open and enjoy the opportunity to explore.

1. The Stopper - 2:57
2. Almost Like Being In Love - 3:22
3. No Moe - 3:29
4. In A Sentimental Mood - 3:17
5. Scoops - 2:13
6. With A Song In My Heart - 3:06
7. Newk's Fadeaway - 3:11
8. Time On My Hands (You In My Arms) - 2:40
9. This Love of Mine - 2:24
10. Shadrack - 2:32
11. On A Slow Boat To China - 2:39
12. Mambo Bounce - 2:22
13. I Know - 2:31

Modern Jazz Quartet (Recorded in 1953):
John Lewis-Piano
Milt Jackson-Vibes
Percy Heath-Bass
Milt Jackson-Vibes
Kenny Clarke-Drums

Sonny Rollins Quartet (Recorded in 1951):
Kenny Drew-Piano
Percy Heath-Bass
Art Blakey-Drums

Sonny Rollins Quartet (Recorded in 1951):
Miles Davis-Piano
Percy Heath-Bass
Roy Haynes-Drums

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