MJ New quartet
Listen to MJ New
Led by jazz pianist Darrell Grant, the MJ New Quartet is a virtuoso quartet who revisit the introspective elegance and sophisticated soundscape of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
Rooted in the cultural diversity of the 1920's Harlem Renaissance, for more than 40 years the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) served as the embodiment of classic jazz cool. With all the savoir faire of a martini—shaken not stirred—the MJQ deftly melded Bach fugues, American song, mid-century modernism, and the blues into a sound unlike any other. Following the lead of these masters, MJ New’s blend of classical and jazz pays homage to the legendary MJQ and imagines a distinctly new sound.
Darrell Grant, piano
Marcus Shelby, bassist
Mike Horsfall, vibraphonist
Carlton Jackson, drummer
Darrell Grant’s MJ New Quartet includes Bay Area-based bassist/composer Marcus Shelby, Portland vibraphonist Mike Horsfall, and Pacific Northwest drummer Carlton Jackson. The group made its debut at a 2013 tribute to the MJQ presented by PDX Jazz. Appearances at the Oregon Coast Jazz Party, collaborations with the Portland Art Museum's Constructing Identity exhibition, and educational residences with the Britt Festival followed, with each performance expanding the group’s repertoire and refining their approach.
about the music
Listening to MJ New, audiences are likely to hear Bach smoothly segue into Antonio Carlos Jobim, an impressionistic treatment of a jazz standard, a reimagined Chopin étude, or a four-part improvisation on a Beethoven sonata theme. Grant and company also offer up thoughtful interpretations and explorations of MJQ classics such as “Django,”“Skating in Central Park,” and “Odds Against Tomorrow” as well as lesser-known gems.
Expanding their repertoire through collaboration, Grant and company are developing new programs that explore historic MJQ recordings such as “Collaboration;” the 1964 disk with Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida and Place Vendôme a 1966 Grammy-nominated album with the Swingle Singers.
This project is available for booking. Please contact Kim Gumbel for information.