Blues at Carnegie Hall is a live album by American jazz group the Modern Jazz Quartet featuring performances recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1966 at a benefit concert presented by The Manhattan School of Music and released on the Atlantic label.
The Modern Jazz Quartet took a hiatus from Atlantic Records to record two LPs for The Beatles' Apple label. Despite the switch, The MJQ's music remained unchanged; it was too classic to alter. This out-of-print album has among its selections a pair of obscure John Lewis originals ("Visitor from Venus" and "Visitor from Mars"), vibraphonist Milt Jackson's ballad feature on "Here's That Rainy Day" and the lengthy "Adagio from Concierto De Aranjuez." Overall this is an average but worthy outing from a group whose excellence could always be taken for granted.
Recorded at the Avery Fisher Hall in New York on November 25, 1974, The Modern Jazz Quartet comprised of vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath, pianist John Lewis and drummer Connie Kay are at their very best. Performing with their distinctive bebop, cool jazz and third-stream sound, a blend of jazz and classical influences, the quartet performs some of their greatest hits including “Bags’ Groove,” “Summertime,” “A Night in Tunisia” and “Django.” This audiophile recording by one of jazz’s finest small ensembles is an essential for any jazz collection.
The second volume of the Modern Jazz Quartet at the Music Inn was released in 1959, a year after its historic first volume with guest Jimmy Giuffre. The format on this set is similar, with pianist John Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Connie Kay moving through a gorgeous medley of standards to open including "Stardust," "I Can't Get Started," and "Lover Man," with beautiful and clever counterpoint between Lewis and Jackson on the melody lines. There are two of Lewis' originals here as well.