This release contains the Modern Jazz Quartet's complete 1964 recordings,
including the complete albums: "Collaboration" (1964) and "Modern Jazz Quartet Plays George Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess'" (1965). A 12-page booklet is included.
04. fugue In A Minor
05. One Note Samba
06. Foi A Saudade
07. Concierto De Aranjuez
09. Bess, You Is My Woman
10. My Man's Gone Now
11. I Loves You, Porgy
12. It Ain't Necessarily So
13. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?
14. There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York 4:23
Total time: 76:15 min.
Tracks #1-7 from "Collaboration" (Atlantic 1429). Recorded at Webster Hall, New York, on July 21, 1964.
Tracks #8-14 from "Modern Jazz Quartet Plays George Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess'" (Atlantic 1440). Recorded in New York, July 23-24, 1964 (Tracks #8, 10, 11, 14) and Webster Hall, New York, April 26, 1965 (Tracks #9, 12, 13).
Personnel: John Lewis (p), Milt Jackson (vib), Percy Heath (b), Connie Kay (d) plus Laurindo Almeida (g on #1-7).
"After we played together in Monterey, John (Lewis) invited me to tour with the Quartet as guest soloist. We left the United States in February 1964 and stayed together until early June...By the time we came home and made this album we knew one another well enough to give the best possible performance of all this material."
"When Atlantic gets around to reissuing their many Modern Jazz Quartet records on CD, this should be one of the first to come back. The MJQ (vibraphonist Milt Jackson, pianist John Lewis, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Connie Kay) were joined for this 1964 session by the great acoustic guitarist Laurindo Almeida and the music is very memorable. Their version of "One Note Samba" (which starts out with Almeida playing unaccompanied) is a classic, the guitarist fits into the four John Lewis compositions quite comfortably, and "Concierto De Aranjuez" is given lengthy and inventive treatment."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide
-Plays George Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess'
"The Modern Jazz Quartet, a group legendary for it's feats during their heyday in the cool bop period of jazz music, shares with the listener a brilliant effort encompassing their impression of composer George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess." Acclaimed by Encyclopedia Britannica as "the greatest American musical drama ever written," The Modern Jazz Quartet perform it at the highest level of creative flair to pay homage to a marvel of composition with the utmost degree of sincerity and respect. This is a piece that Gershwin took a full 11 months to compose and nine months to orchestrate, all based on the initial inspiration from a drama written by playwright Dorothy Heyward. Opening up the score is Gershwin's dazzling and seductive tune "Summertime," a landslide mark of musical brilliance. So daring and stylish do the quartet seem, that they bring quite a sense of dynamics and energy to the performance. The percussive textures of Connie Kay on drums and Percy Heath on bass blend in beautifully with the lush dual sound of John Lewis on piano and Milt Jackson on the vibraharp. The second tune, "Bess, You Is My Women," is an up-tempo delight of soaring swing, with a combination of dashing walking basslines and sweetly decorated melody chops. "My Man's Gone Now" is a savvy piece that deeply grips the listener's soul and sweeps them away. Alluring and charming in content, one can sincerely feel the band has spoken confidently, not diminishing its avant-garde form. Two other tunes of note on the record are "I Love Porgy," a sentimental and softly done ballad, and "It Ain't Necessarily So," quite a mesmerizing tune encompassing a vast array of changing meters. Sweetly syncopated, this jam is quite a roller coaster ride. The Modern Jazz Quartet is alive and well in this effort, thoroughly brewing with overbearing optimism. Lavish in orchestration, shining with dexterity, it is no wonder that it is rare to find such a group that can emulate George Gershwin's work with such spontaneity and prowess. The music is felt in the text of a discretely tight yet unpredictable setting, yet the band doesn't fail to go overboard on taste. Well versed in direction and refreshing in statement, The Modern Jazz Quartet invents Gershwin in a new fashion, with a personality in and of their own."
Shawn Haney -All Music Guide