The Susan Pascal Quartet in concert at The Seattle Art Museum (photo by Harlan Chinn)
A recent concert by the Susan Pascal Quartet at the Seattle Art Museum will air on Jazz Northwest Sunday, December 20 at 1 PM Pacific Time on 88.5, KPLU. This month, the Susan Pascal Quartet is revisiting the music of The Modern Jazz Quartet, one of the most long-lived jazz groups which played concerts all over the world for more than 40 years with the same personnel.
Susan Pascal transcribed a selection of music recorded by the MJQ for her quartet and the instrumentation is identical: vibraharp (Susan Pascal), piano (Bill Anschell), string bass (Chuck Deardorf) and drums (Matt Jorgensen). The music includes several seasonal pieces including one original arrangement by Bill Anschell.
Originally the rhythm section of the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band in the 40s, the Modern Jazz Quartet recorded and toured extensively and was one of the most successful and popular groups in the history of jazz. The delicate, crystalline music they played had overtones of classical music and their audiences listened with the same rapt attention given to a classical string quartet. However, there was a strong rhythmic pulse and a blues-based core in addition to contrapuntal interplay. Pianist John Lewis and vibist Milt Jackson composed most of the music played by the quartet whose other members were Percy Heath, bass and Connie Kay, drums.
The Art of Jazz Series at the Seattle Art Museum is produced by Earshot Jazz, John Gilbreath Executive Director, and presented on the second Thursday of each month. The next concert on January 14 will feature the Hadley Caliman Quintet.
Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org. A podcast of the program will be available at kplu.org after the airdate.
Listen to an audio sample below.