This is the type of album that led many bop purists to criticize the Modern Jazz Quartet (and John Lewis in particular) for being overly influenced by Western classical music. This album has seven of Lewis' compositions, episodic works arranged in a suite that portrays characters from a fictional Italian comedy based in the 1500s. Singer Diahann Carroll guests fairly effectively on "La Cantatrice." Despite being tied to a story, there are some strong improvisations from pianist Lewis and vibraphonist Milt Jackson on this unusual material. The release is not that essential but it is quite interesting.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow
feat: Diahann Carroll