The Modern Jazz Quartet is well documented on a number of outstanding labels, though there is only sketchy information about the background of this particular CD. Recorded in 1958 in Europe, probably from one or more radio broadcasts, the group is in top form, though the sound is at times a bit overmodulated. In addition to favorites like John Lewis' "Django," and Milt Jackson's "Bluesology" and "Bags' Groove," there are less frequently performed gems like "Animal Dance." Jackson's bluesy vibes are featured extensively, though Lewis' elegant piano is also a treat. The quartet is joined by the le Jazz Groupe de Paris on two tracks ("Sketch 3" and "Ambiquette"), primarily adding a bit of background color with reeds and brass with occasional solos, though no mention is made of the guests anywhere within the CD booklet or tray card. This budget CD, most recently available through Laserlight, falls short of being essential, though Modern Jazz Quartet fans will enjoy it.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden