The Modern Jazz Quartet – The Sheriff (1964/2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 30:42 minutes | 1,23 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover | © Rhino Atlantic
The Modern Jazz Quartet plays a selection of original compositions and riveting standards on their release, The Sheriff. The album is infused with Latin and bossa nova rhythms. The work features four pieces by pianist John Lewis, including the blues-driven title track and the hauntingly beautiful “In a Crowd.” The quartet also performs works by Heitor Villa-Lobos (“Bachianas Brasileiras”) and Luiz Bonfa (“Carnival”). The quartet’s rich melodies and harmonious playing are strong and compelling.
Recorded in 1963, The Sheriff features the Modern Jazz Quartet in fine swinging form. The program is not as sharply focused as on some of the earlier Atlantic releases, but it is compelling nonetheless. There are four originals by pianist John Lewis, including the fleeting, bluesy title cut, and the moody, spacious “In a Crowd,” — originally composed for the 1961 film A Milanese Story. Its stepped-up time signature and series of phrases played by Milt Jackson grounds the tune in blues, but Lewis’ solo feels more like a solo trumpet breezing through the center. The set includes Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras,” a classical piece the quartet first performed with guitarist Laurindo Almeida. Bassist Percy Heath is stellar here, playing both arco and pizzicato and alternately moving the work forward with deftness and precision. Lewis and Jackson engage in gorgeous counterpoint throughout. It’s knotty, but exotic and beautiful. Another Latin-based work here is Luiz Bonfa’s brilliant “Carnival,” which closes the set. Jackson’s melodic interplay with Connie Kay’s brushwork is subtle and rich, moving through a series of verses before Jackson takes it to the blues in his solo. Lewis keeps the pulse as Heath underscores the backbeat.
01 – The Sheriff
02 – In A Crowd
03 – Bachianas Brasileiras
04 – Mean To Me
05 – Natural Affection
06 – Donnie’s Theme
07 – Carnival