The Wonderful World of Jazz – John Lewis – mono Atlantic 1375 (1961)/ Pure Pleasure

by | Mar 2, 2017 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

A fine John Lewis vinyl with Eric Dolphy, Gunther Schuller and Jim Hall!

The Wonderful World of Jazz – John Lewis [TrackList follows] – mono Atlantic 1375 (1961)/ Pure Pleasure Records *****:

This wonderful jazz mono vinyl has been reissued numerous times now (including Japanese pressings), but perhaps this version bests them all – though I haven’t heard all of them. With the original artwork on the front of the Atlantic release (including the photo of Lewis by Tom Dowd) and the complete notes by Ralph J. Gleason, plus the great sonics, this is a winner. Nesuhi Ertegun supervised the album.

The 1960 personnel change around for the five tracks here on the two sides of the vinyl. It includes, besides Lewis on piano, Paul Gonsalves and Benny Golson on tenor sax, Jim Hall on guitar, Connie Kay on drums and Herb Pomeroy on trumpet. Lewis was for a time the director of the Monterey Jazz Festival, and he has a much more complex musical personality than just the pianist of the Modern Jazz Quartet. This album includes two of his original tunes: “Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West” and “Afternoon in Paris.” Their beauty is brought out more than on any other version. Dolphy appeared on “Afternoon” by an arrangement with Prestige Records, and Schuller was on the same tune, along with bassist George Duvivier.

The entire album has the highest musical standards, as does everything which Lewis has been responsible for in jazz. And the sonics are excellent – never mind they’re just mono. All MJQ fans should have this one too.

Body and Soul, I Should Care, Two Degrees East Three Degrees West, Afternoon in Paris, I Remember Clifford

—John Henry

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