Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet - Nat Steele Quartet

Large nat steele

There was a time not so long ago when the Modern Jazz Quartet, always one of the most commercially successful of jazz outfits, found their work downgraded as a consequence, as if touring the world, taking jazz to the wider public and creating a litany of iconic albums transpired to be some sort of artistic sell-out. And for a while it was all too common for critics to parrot-fashion the myth that John Lewis' artful arrangements had trimmed the wings of the unit's key soloist, Milt Jackson.

Thankfully, with a bit of hindsight, things are now viewed more considerately and Lewis' carefully crafted compositions and arrangements of standards are recognised for what they always were – perfect cameo settings for Jackson's inextinguishable brilliance.

Taking the MJQ's music as a starting point, vibraphonist Nat Steele and his band are doing what all jazz tradition homages ought to – neither slavishly aping its every mannerism nor reinventing the music in unrecognisable guises, they find their own new things to say in a tried and tested format, thus making this celebration an equally appealing prospect for veteran MJQ fans and new listeners alike.

< Back to festival

Sunday October 7, 2:00pm

  • > Nat Steele - Vibes
  • > Gabriel Latchin - Piano
  • > Dario Di Lecce - Double Bass
  • > Steve Brown - Drums