In this collaboration with Quoted Studios, Jazz at Lincoln Center unearths an old conversation with pianist John Lewis in which he discusses the MJQ's origins and how the band's success got in the way of his ongoing gig with Ella FItzgerald.
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Few captured the sleek, swinging sophistication of jazz better than pianist, composer, and bandleader John Lewis, who had a long, deep, personal relationship with Jazz at Lincoln Center. “He used to always call our program a miracle,” says Wynton Marsalis. “He used to always say, ‘Keep that miracle going.’”
In 2013, when the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis set out to honor the legacy of the Modern Jazz Quartet’s maestro, they teamed up with New Orleans’ own Jon Batiste. The bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and a prodigious pianist in his own right, Batiste joined the JLCO to tackle some of Lewis’s most iconic tunes during a sold-out concert in Rose Theater, the House of Swing. That concert is now THE MUSIC OF JOHN LEWIS.
From the blistering bebop of “Two Bass Hit” to the down-home blues of “2 Degrees East, 3 Degrees West”—from small group configurations to the big band might of the full JLCO—The Music of John Lewis captures the elegance and soulfulness of Lewis’s daring compositions. The record also includes a four-movement suite pulled from the Modern Jazz Quartet’s classic recording, The Comedy.
Interview recorded at Lincoln Center.
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