Modern Jazz Quartet: Lonely Woman


Lonely Woman


Modern Jazz Quartet


Lonely Woman (Atlantic Jazz: 7 90665-2)

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

Composed by Ornette Coleman


Recorded: New York, January 25, 1962


Rating: 80/100 (learn more)

I have mixed feelings about this recording. The Modern Jazz Quartet comprised solid, assured performers who made some great music in their time, but the problem is getting Ornette Coleman's original recording out of my head. The mannered, pensive way that the MJQ takes on this standard of free jazz totally changes the flavor of the piece for this listener. In this setting it becomes a multi-movement suite showcasing the melody, then leading to some mundane transitional ensemble work followed by short highlights from bassist Heath and vibraharpist Jackson. This is more of a study of the 1959 classic, and while the band does what it does well, it's a tough tune to cover.

Reviewer: Frank Murphy

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