2 non-MJQ sessions from pianist John Lewis – both recorded in 1956, and both unusual one-off dates! The first half of the CD features work from the album Grand Encounter – originally recorded for Pacific Jazz, and a classic meeting of east and west coast artists of the third stream jazz sphere of the late 50s – one that features the team of John Lewis and Percy Heath of the Modern Jazz Quartet working alongside the west coast tenor of Bill
Perkins, plus the guitar of Jim Hall and drums of Chico Hamilton! The whole album's got quite a unique feel – one that's as airy as that of the MJQ work of the time, but not nearly as academic or sleepy – thanks to a nice biting tone from Perkins' tenor, which really seems to stretch out in the space provided by Lewis. There's almost a similarly sublime quality here as on Lewis' album with Sacha Distel – Afternoon In Paris – which featured a similar use of space for great tenor sound (in that case, the tenor of Barney Wilen.) Titles include "2 Degrees East 3 Degrees West", "Easy Living", "Skylark", and "I Can't Get Started". The remaining material on the album is from a Verve album entitled Modern Jazz Sextet – a one-off studio group who are clearly listed here to cash in on the Modern Jazz Quartet's fame – and which combines 2 Modern Jazz Quartet members (John Lewis, Percy Heath) with 4 bop players (Dizzy, Sonny Stitt, Charlie Persip, Skeeter Best.) Given the presence of Dizzy and Stitt, there's a lot more soul here than you'd expect from an MJQ outing – and titles include 2 standards, in the usual Verve style – "Mean To Me" and a ballad medley
of "Old Folks", "What's New" and "How Deep Is The Ocean" – plus 3 originals – "Blues For Bird", "Tour De Force", and "Dizzy Meets Sonny".
(Booklet is lightly wrinkled.)