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Topsy: This One's For Basie

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Topsy: This One's For Basie

Artist: Modern Jazz Quartet
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: June 1985

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
3½ stars out of 4

The Modern Jazz Quartet was together for 20 years and disbanded in 1974. The best thing about breaking up is getting back together again, and MJQ reunited in 1985 for "Topsy: This One's For Basie." Leader Milt Jackson was inspired to do something for the Count. John Lewis, the band's piano player and producer, also was an admirer and emulated the late great Basie.

Jackson's vibes are so sweet and tender on each track, in fact, they dominant as the main instrument quite often during the run of this recording. As a matter of course Lewis, Percy Heath (bass), Connie Kay (drums), are given equal time to make this a complete and full session, as only Basie would have appreciated it.

"D And E (alternate take)"is an added bonus track for this remastered Original Jazz Classic release. It stretches out for over nine minutes. Considering that it was an alternate take the band really goes above and beyond any expectations, and it's a welcome addition to the original release. The sound is now pristine, and quite fitting for such a jazz testimonial to Count Basie. MJQ was welcomed back into jazz circles readily, and they will be once again. Sit back and listen to the masters at work.

1. Reunion Blues (Lewis) - 4:12
2. Nature Boy (Ahbez) - 5:06
3. Topsy II (Battle/Durham) - 4:43
4. D and E (Lewis) - 8:30
5. Valeria (Lewis) - 6:49
6. Milano (Lewis) - 5:54
7. Le Cannet (Lewis) - 8:19

Bonus Track

8. D and E [alternate take/*] (Lewis) - 9:44


Milt Jackson - Vibraphone
John Lewis - Piano, Producer, Liner Notes
Connie Kay - Drums
Percy Heath - Bass
Rick Rowe - Engineer



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