5 Original Albums: Pyramid/ Third Stream Music/ MJQ and Orchestra/ Lonely Woman/ The Sherriff
Formed in 1952 by former Dizzy Gillespie sidemen John Lewis and Milt Jackson, the Modern Jazz Quartet's line up was set by 1955 with bassist Percy Heath and drummer Connie Kay. In 1956 they signed to Atlantic fro an association that would last their lifetimes.
Few groups in the history of jazz can claim such consistency and longevity of genuine inspiration. Few boast a back-catalogue of the quality of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
"While John Coltrane was immersed in New York's studios and clubs, the Modern Jazz Quartet, under the leadership of pianist John Lewis, enjoyed commercial success exploring the fugues and cannons of classical music. This basically packaged collection brings together five of their best Atlantic recordings, including Pyramid and Third Stream Music. And they stand up remarkably well. Lewis's light, bluesy touch is balanced by Milt Jackson's soulful vibes. Percy Heath is one of the great jazz bass players, and there's grit beneath the surface." Financial Times **** 4 stars
"Elegant, finely nuanced and utterly absorbing." Mojo **** 4 stars