Modern Jazz Quartet w/Paul Desmond – live at Carnegie Hall – Christmas Day 1971 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The MJQ and a special Christmas Concert featuring Paul Desmond, recorded live at Carnegie Hall on Christmas day, 1971. This concert has been released in various forms and in various formats over the years, but the message is timeless and the sentiments are heartfelt. The Modern Jazz Quartet came to epitomize that essence of Cool Jazz all throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s. And even though they all had stellar careers individually, collaborating with a who’s who of Jazz legends over the years, the MJQ were legends in their own rite as an ensemble. Cool, not frantic – mellow and contemplative. And joined here by saxophonist Paul Desmond, himself a cornerstone member of Dave Brubeck’s Quartet – it is, without question, the perfect companion to a festive holiday season.
And maybe you’re not festive this year, as I know many aren’t – this concert doesn’t make you get up and do anything – doesn’t wring every last ounce of holiday cheer out of you – doesn’t hammer home the manufactured joy of the season. No. It takes the true meaning of the holiday, the time of quiet reflection and stock-taking and wraps you in a warm blanket of comfort and assurance.
Or maybe you’ve just had a bit too much eggnog at the annual get-together or office party – and you’re waking up with a massive hangover, and the least little sound is capable of striking bolts of indescribable pain up and down your spine. This concert won’t jar your nerves and will help keep breakfast down.
It is all music for all-occasions and the beauty that has always been The Modern Jazz Quartet is the effortless dive into a soul-enriching experience.
So, depending on what your holiday mood is – a subtle blast of this legendary concert will do you a world of good.
Just try it.