Django (album)

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Django
Studio album by Modern Jazz Quartet
Released 1956 (digitally remastered edition released 1987)
Recorded June 25, 1953 (4-7), New York, NY; December 23, 1954 (1,2,8) and January 9, 1955 (3), Hackensack, NJ.
Genre Cool jazz
Third Stream
Post bop
Length 39:00
Label Prestige Records
Producer Ira Gitler (4-7) and Bob Weinstock (1,2,3,8)
Modern Jazz Quartet chronology
Concorde
(1955)
Django
(1956)
Fontessa
(1956)

Django is an album by the Modern Jazz Quartet, first released on LP in 1956. The actual sessions had taken place in June 1953, December 1954, and January 1955, and (as Prestige Records had yet to enter the LP era) were first released on two ten-inch albums, entitled Modern Jazz Quartet, Volume 2 (1953, containing "The Queen's Fancy", "Delauney's Dilemma" and "Autumn In New York") and Concorde (1955, much longer, containing "Django", "One Bass Hit", "La Ronde Suite" and "Milano"). The first session took place in New York, but the eventual Hackensack, New Jersey, sessions were engineered by Rudy Van Gelder; the whole album was reissued in 2006 as part of the Rudy Van Gelder Remasters collection.

The song "Django" (like the other original material on the album) was composed by the group's pianist and musical director, John Lewis. It is one of his best-known compositions, written in memory of the Belgian gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. One other apostrophic tune is "Delauney's Dilemma", a jaunty tribute to a French jazz critic. The lengthy "La Ronde Suite", with discrete sections emphasizing each group member's contributions, is in fact a version of the standard "Two Bass Hit", written by Lewis for Dizzy Gillespie and covered by, among others, Miles Davis on Milestones. Confusingly, Gillespie's own tune, "One Bass Hit", is also included as a feature for bassist Percy Heath.

Vibraphonist Milt "Bags" Jackson can famously be heard grunting and humming throughout the quieter numbers, which include covers of the Gershwins' "But Not For Me" and the Vernon Duke standard "Autumn In New York".

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Django" (John Lewis) – 7:03
  2. "One Bass Hit" (Dizzy Gillespie) – 2:59
  3. "La Ronde Suite" (Lewis) – 9:38
  4. "The Queen's Fancy" (Lewis) – 3:12
  5. "Delauney's Dilemma" (Lewis) – 4:01
  6. "Autumn In New York" (Vernon Duke) – 3:40
  7. "But Not for Me" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) – 3:44
  8. "Milano" (Lewis) – 4:23

Personnel[edit]

References and external links[edit]