NAT STEELE with Gabriel Latchin,

Dario Di Lecce and Steve Brown

Portrait of the MODERN JAZZ QUARTET- TR598

Nat Steele - PORTRAIT OF THE MODERN JAZZ QUARTET - TR598

 

1. WOODY ’N’ YOU (Dizzy Gillespie) 5:32

2. THE GOLDEN STRIKER (John Lewis) 6:06

3. LA RONDE SUITE (John Lewis - Dizzy Gillespie, arr. Lewis) 9:50
(i) PIANO (ii) BASS (iii) VIBES (iv) DRUMS
4. AUTUMN IN NEW YORK (Vernon Duke, arr. Lewis) 5:15

5. SOFTLY, AS IN A MORNING SUNRISE (Sigmund Romberg,
J.S. Bach, arr. Lewis) 5:53
6. I’LL REMEMBER APRIL (Gene De Paul) 5:13
7. DJANGO (John Lewis) 6:37
8. BAGS’ GROOVE (Milt Jackson) 4:09
9. ALL OF YOU (Cole Porter, arr. Lewis) 3:49

NAT STEELE vibraphone GABRIEL LATCHIN piano
DARIO DI LECCE double bass STEVE BROWN drums

 

 

Tribute bands very, very rarely pull of creating the authenticity, the vibe, the spark or get close to the original music. However, what happens when four musicians with the utmost respect of the group they wish to pay tribute get together and play the music of the original group but have no intention other than be themselves? Answer: you get a superlative recording of four musicians, totally on the top of their game, making music of the highest order that pays great respect to the music and musicians they pay tribute to, but also comes across just as fresh and vibrant as the original group - The Modern Jazz Quartet.

Nat Steele has put together a stellar group of the newer established players on the jazz scene to play their part in the Portrait of The Modern Jazz Quartet project.

Gabriel Latchin, recently seen on stage at the Wigmore Hall with Christian McBride and opera star Renee Fleming having caught the attention of the bass player's ear whilst still a student at the Guildhall School of Music. A pianist of an exception touch and sound, he is the perfect choice to pay respects to John Lewis, pianist with the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Dario Di Lecce is the newest face on the London jazz scene having arrived in 2012 and almost immediately making his mark. Born in Bario, Italy, he began playing bass in 2005 quickly discovering a passion for jazz arriving in London via New York. He has studied with many of the world's jazz greats including Lee Konitz, Kenny Barron, Dado Moroni, Eddie Gomez, Buster Williams, and Steve Swallow. His distinctive sound is immediately recognisable, steeped in the tradition of the great jazz masters of the bass.

Steve Brown needs no introduction as the 'elder statesman' of the group. As part of the Scott Hamilton Quartet Steve Brown has appeared on stages around the world. As a member of the New York pianist's, Benny Green, European trio he has made his mark on the international scene. Constantly in demand he is the perfect foil in this tribute to the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Nat Steele's admiration of probably the greatest vibraphone player, Milt Jackson, is immediately apparent from one stroke of a mallet. Having his hero's deep, resonant, round sound Milt Jackson's influence on Nat Steele is unmistakable. Principally a self taught musician his feel for the music is completely natural and his sense of 'the beat' comes across in his totally swinging groove. His understanding of the music is defined by this, his debut album, and a fitting portrait of The Modern Jazz Quartet.

 

 

 

REVIEWS:

 

Dave Gelly, The Observer, Sunday 1 October 2017/The Guardian ****

If ever a jazz quartet could be called unique it was the MJQ, with their unlikely combination of classical delicacy and bebop bravura. To experience it in person was to be entranced by the poise with which they kept the two disparate elements in balance. The MJQ ended in 1994 and no one else seemed quite able to strike the same balance. Now, however, I think vibraphonist Nat Steele has managed it, along with pianist Gabriel Latchin, bassist Dario Di Lecce and drummer Steve Brown. The classic arrangements retain the authentic lightness of touch, while the freshly improvised solos have all the vital intensity of the original.