Modern Jazz Quartet: No Happiness for Slater


No Happiness for Slater


The Modern Jazz Quartet


Odds Against Tomorrow (Blue Note CDP 7 93415 2)

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John Lewis (piano), Milt Jackson (vibes), Percy Heath (bass), Connie Kay (drums).

Composed by John Lewis


Recorded: New York, October 9, 1959


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) was the best heist film since The Asphalt Jungle (1950). Singer Harry Belafonte plays a hip, blues-singing vibist who's also a compulsive gambler and aspiring bank robber. In other words, your typical modern jazzman. John Lewis's music is more pensive than pandemonium, as in this 16-bar blues tailored to Milt Jackson. It's telling that whenever Hollywood hacks ran the show, crime jazz was loud and blustery. When sophisticates such as Miles Davis, John Lewis and Gerry Mulligan called their own shots, crime jazz turned as calmly calculated and coolly effective as a heist with a clean getaway.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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