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German broadcaster NDR has recorded the stars of international jazz since the early 1950's and taken from this archive is a superb series of re-mastered CDs featuring previously unreleased material. The fourth album in this series features the Modern Jazz Quartet who by the time they visited NDR's studios in Hannover on the 28th October 1957 were already a phenomenon on the jazz scene both in Europe and in the USA.
Balancing the precision and form of the classical tradition with both the blues aesthetic and bebop elements, John Lewis (piano), Milt Jackson (vibraphone), Percy Heath (bass) and Connie Kay (drums) played over eighty European concerts in 1957-58, and received a euphoric response wherever they performed.
The programme on this CD is drawn from the groups set of the time and is an excellent summation of their music. Included are standards from the 'Great American Songbook', such as "All the Things You Are", and two sections from film scores composed by John Lewis, "Venice" and "The Golden Striker". Also from the pianist's pen is "Vendome", an episodic "Jazz Fugue", and Bluesology, a showcase for Milt Jackson's virtuosity.