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The Modern Jazz Quartet was a jazz combo established in 1952 that played a style of jazz influenced by classical music, cool jazz, blues and bebop. The band performed over a forty-year span with only one personnel change. Under John Lewis's leadership they carved their own niche by specializing in elegant, restrained music that used sophisticated counterpoint yet nonetheless retained a strong blues feel. John Lewis firmly believed that J.S. Bach and the blues were compatible, combining classical form with jazz improvisation and polyphony. The band was also noted for their ability to play alongside a variety of other groups. For the majority of their career the group comprised John Lewis (piano and musical director), Milt Jackson (vibraphone), Percy Heath (double bass) and Connie Kay (drums). Initially active into the 1970s, until Jackson quit due to creative disagreement and frustration with their busy touring schedule, the MJQ reformed intermittently into the 1990s.

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Discography

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Album

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1951 Modern Jazz Quartet The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1955 Concorde The Modern Jazz Quartet 7
1956 Django The Modern Jazz Quartet 7
1956 Fontessa The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1957 The Modern Jazz Quartet The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1959 Pyramid The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1960 Patterns Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1960 Third Stream Music The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1961 The Modern Jazz Quartet & Orchestra The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1962 Lonely Woman The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1965 Plays George Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess' The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1968 Under the Jasmin Tree The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1974 Blues on Bach The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1981 Reunion at Budokan 1981 The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
1984 MJQ The Modern Jazz Quartet & The Milt Jackson Quintet 4
1985 Topsy: This One's for Basie The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
1987 Compact Jazz: The Modern Jazz Quartet Plus The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
1988 For Ellington The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
1988 The Sheriff The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1992 The Comedy The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
2005 Elegance The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2006 The Comedy / Lonely Woman The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2007 Echoes The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
2009 Bluesology the Modern Jazz Quartet Anthology the Atlantic Years 1956 - 1988 The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2010 The Savoy Recordings Milt Jackson & The MJQ 1
2012 Third Stream Music The Modern Jazz Quartet & The Jimmy Giuffre Trio & Beaux Arts String Quartet 1
European Concert The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
Live 1956 The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
MJQ-40 The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
Modern Jazz Quartet and Sonny Rollins Modern Jazz Quartet and Sonny Rollins 1
Place Vendome The Swingle Singers & The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
Under The Jasmin Tree + Space (2010 Remaster) The Modern Jazz Quartet 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1972 The Legendary Profile Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
1988 The Best of the Modern Jazz Quartet Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
1988 Sessions Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
1989 The Modern Jazz Quartet Story Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
1991 The Artistry Of The Modern Jazz Quartet Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1994 A 40th Anniversary Celebration Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
1996 Les Incontournables Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2001 All the Famous Songs Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2003 The Complete Modern Jazz Quartet Prestige & Pablo Recordings Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2003 Autumn Breeze Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2004 Complete 1951 - 1953 Studio Sessions Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2004 Softly as... Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2004 The Queen's Fancy Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2007 European Concert: Volumes One & Two Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1
2013 Germany 1956-1958: Lost Tapes Compilation The Modern Jazz Quartet 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1956 The Modern Jazz Quartet at Music Inn Live The Modern Jazz Quartet 2
1959 The Modern Jazz Quartet at Music Inn, Volume 2 Live The Modern Jazz Quartet with Sonny Rollins 1
1962 European Concert, Volume One Live The Modern Jazz Quartet 1

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