Portrait of the MJQ

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Nat Steele: vibraharp | Gabriel Latchin: piano | Dario Di Lecce: bass | Steve Brown: drums

Portrait Of The MJQ’ is the debut album of vibraphonist Nat Steele, released at a sold out CD launch at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Autumn 2017, with a swinging take on the music of the MJQ.

Reviews: *update*

The CD has received rave reviews in the press, including being “Jazz Choice of the Month” in the December 2017 issue of BBC Music Magazine with a 5**** review and half page feature, and a 4**** from Dave Gelly in the Observer. It has also just been the subject of a half hour feature and interview with me on BBC Radio Ulster! There are also reviews in upcoming issues of Jazz Journal and Jazzwise, which will be posted as and when they are printed. Please let me know if you see any elsewhere! See below for quotes and direct links to the reviews.

“Compelling.” Ian Mann (TheJazzMann)
“Sheer delight.” Peter Vacher (Jazzwise)
“Vibrant.” - Bruce Lindsay (JazzJournal)
“A refreshing treat for the ears.” - Rebecca Franks (BBC Music Magazine) - 5 star review and “Jazz Choice” of the month for Dec 2017 issue!
“Vital intensity…” - Dave Gelly (Observer)
“Effervescence … captured to perfection.” - Euan Dixon (JazzViews)
“Honours the MJQ with poise.” - Adrian Pallant (AP Reviews)
“A great debut album.” - Tim Rolfe (Sandy Brown Jazz)
“A pleasant surprise.” - Lance Liddle (Bebop Spoken Here)
“Pays homage to the MJQ… extremely well.” Charlie Anderson (Sussex Jazz Magazine)
Remembering the MJQ - Jazz Club (BBC Radio Ulster)
The quartet performs the music of one of the most successful and influential jazz groups of the 20th century, the ‘Modern Jazz Quartet’, as it was otherwise known. Joining him are the young pianist Gabriel Latchin (Christian McBride, Renée Fleming), Italian bassist Dario Di Lecce (George Garzone, Renato D'Aiello) and Steve Brown (Benny Golson, Scott Hamilton) on drums. The gig will feature tunes from the album, among them such stellar favourites such as ‘Django’, ‘Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise’, ‘Bags Groove’, and a complete performance of ‘La Ronde Suite’.

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OK, I am now officially a fan!
Joe Locke (on Nat Steele)
Nat Steele… a remarkable young vibraphonist in the Milt Jackson tradition.
Dave Gelly (Observer)
You can buy a copy using the PayPal button on the right - it is not necessary to have a PayPal account. Postage is included in the price.

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The MJQ gained attention for bringing jazz out of the club and into the concert hall in the 1950s, and for being an early pioneer of the “third stream” fusion, combining classical compositional techniques with jazz improvisation. It featured the contrasting talents of its musical director and pianist, John Lewis, who played with an understated control, with the fiery, boppish stylings of vibes pioneer Milt Jackson.
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Since his arrival on the scene, Nat Steele has quickly gained a reputation as a talented musician to watch out for, described by Clark Tracey as "one of the best vibes players this country has ever produced." Following in the style of Milt Jackson and Cal Tjader, Nat takes a two mallet approach to improvisation, focusing on melodic interpretation and a great swing feel.

Pianist Gabriel Latchin is constantly in demand as a side man. Most recently he’s gained attention for his role in performing with Christian McBride and Renee Fleming at Wigmore Hall. He has worked with Ronnie Cuber, former Jazz Messenger Jean Toussaint, Alex Garnett, The London Jazz Orchestra and The Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He has performed at concert halls, clubs and festivals around the UK and Europe, including The Barbican, The Queen's Hall, The London Jazz Festival, The Jazz Bar and in Holland and Monaco.
Double bassist Dario di Lecce was raised in Bari, Italy, where he began studying double bass with Maestro Giorgio Vendola. He’s studied with Lee Konitz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kenny Barron, Dado Moroni, Eddie Gomez, Buster Williams. He has performed in Italy, UK, Netherlands, France, Slovenia and the United States, and in 2012 he moved to London where he is currently working with some of the most important musicians the British jazz scene.

Multi award-winning drummer Steve Brown moved from his home town of Manchester to London in 1996 and immediately became first call sideman with many of the capital's finest musicians, including engagements with Harry 'Sweets' Edison and Conte Candoli. He’s a member of Scott Hamilton’s quartet and appears on Concorde and other major labels. Between engagements with Scott Hamilton, Steve performs and records with a wide variety of artists including Benny Golson, Benny Green, Carl Fontana, Barry Harris, Junior Mance, Charles McPherson, John Bunch and Hod O'Brien.

For bookings please contact Nat Steele.