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Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet

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Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet
Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet


'Portrait of the MJQ' is the debut album of vibraphone player Nat Steele (Julian Bliss, Peter King) on Trio Records, with a swinging take on the music of the famous Modern Jazz Quartet. Featuring stellar arrangements of such favourite tunes as "Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise", "Django", "Bags Groove" and "La Ronde", amongst others.

Nat, an unashamedly straight ahead jazz musician, and is a well-known follower of the two mallet linear approach to improvisation as originated by Milt Jackson, which uses the vibraphone as a lead instrument, with the focus on melody as opposed to chordal playing. Besides Milt Jackson he's strongly influenced by vibes players such as Cal Trader, Dave Pike and Victor Feldman, and other instrumentalists like Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt and Bud Powell.

The album features also features Gabriel Latchin (Christian McBride, Renée Fleming) on piano, Dario di Lecce (George Garzone, Renato D'Aiello) on double bass, and Steve Brown (Benny Golson, Scott Hamilton) on drums.

The Modern Jazz Quartet was formed in the early 1950s by pianist/composer John Lewis, and with it he gained attention as one of the principal drivers behind the "third stream" movement, which combined ideas from bebop with compositional techniques taken from classical music, especially baroque techniques such as canon and fugue.

Nat's album takes these arrangements and compositions and infuses them with his own unique take on bebop and straight ahead jazz to create a fresh, driving, swinging album.

Reviews: "The classic arrangements retain the authentic lightness of touch, while the freshly improvised solos have all the vital intensity of the original." --The Observer ****


  1. Name
  2. Woody 'n You
  3. Golden Striker
  4. Autumn In New York
  5. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
  6. I'll Remember April
  7. Django
  8. Bags Groove
  9. All Of You
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