The Modern Jazz Quartet

A 40th Anniversary Celebration

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As part of their 40th anniversary, the Modern Jazz Quartet welcomed ten guest artists to their Celebration CD: Bobby McFerrin (brilliant on "Billie's Bounce"), Take 6, Phil Woods, Wynton Marsalis (who gets to show off his technique on "Cherokee"), Illinois Jacquet, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Freddie Hubbard and Nino Tempo. As usual, vibraphonist Milt Jackson and pianist John Lewis also have plenty of solo space, and bassist Percy Heath is perfect in support. Since drummer Connie Kay was ailing in 1992 (but back in action the following year), Mickey Roker fills in on seven of the 13 selections. With the exception of "Django" (which features Phil Woods), and "Bags' Groove," the music sticks to bop standards rather than MJQ standbys. It's an enjoyable and varied set.

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