The second of two CD reissues of a jam session led by guitarist Kenny Burrell features the talented if forgotten trumpeter Louis Smith, both Junior Cook and Tina Brooks on tenors, pianist Bobby Timmons (Duke Jordan was on the first volume), bassist Sam Jones and drummer Art Blakey. The all-star group performs two standards ("Caravan" and the guitarist's feature on "Autumn in New York"), Sam Jones's "Chuckin'" and Burrell's "Rock Salt." This is excellent music that easily fits into the bop mainstream of the period.
Vol. 2 in BIS' complete Sibelius Edition is given over the Finnish master's chamber music for strings and for strings and piano. Fifty years earlier, this release would've included only the "Voces intimae" string quartet. But BIS' 2007 release includes all four quartets and all four piano trios, plus 35 other works or substantial fragments lasting between 13 seconds to 32 minutes. One thing is instantly clear: Sibelius scholarship has made enormous strides since the mid-twentieth century.
Not really the last concert ever from the Modern Jazz Quartet – but a set that seemed so at the time, given that the group went their separate ways for a number of years! The record's got the combo in really top form – very much back to the basics of their early time on Atlantic Records, with a sublime focus on that unique sound that no other group like this could match.