Features 24 bit digital remastering. An excellent Japanese performance from the Modern Jazz Quartet – and a set that was issued in a bit of a lull during their 60s American years for Atlantic Records – which makes it even more important as a key part of their catalog at the time! The 1966 date has the combo in fine form – and almost stepping out with a bit of added soulfulness, in ways that echo some of the styles that Milt Jackson was exploring on his own at the time, and which seem to be brought back to the group! Milt's vibes are wonderful – ringing out with a great sense of pride and presence that may well go beyond earlier MJQ material.
Some years ago a distinguished music professor said to me, "You must go and see Doktor Faust at English National Opera - you'll hear a second rank composer at the height of his powers". Backhanded though this compliment may seem, it was clearly conveyed with a spirit admiration and perhaps a tinge of surprise.
This wild recording, the first volume of two covering all the Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin, may well polarize listeners into attitudes of love and hate. French violinist Hélène Schmitt delivers readings of the first sonata and the first two partitas that are nowhere near the mainstream for these celebrated works, which are generally regarded as icons of Bach's intellectual accomplishment and have been subjected to all kinds of numerological analysis.
This compilation in Verve's laudable Jazz in Paris reissue series features two separate soundtracks of original music. The first features a dozen works by French saxophonist Barney Wilen, written for Edouard Molinaro's Un Témoin dans la Ville, with a quintet consisting of Kenny Dorham, Duke Jordan, Kenny Clarke, and bassist Paul Rovere. While many of the pieces were only heard as musical fragments in the film, and several of them are little more than a brief chorus or two in recorded form, the music doesn't need visuals to be effective. Best is Wilen's sole appearance on soprano sax, the mellow duo ballad with Jordan of "Mélodie pour les Radio-Taxis"…