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JazzTimes 10: All-Time Great Jazz Quartets

From Goodman to Shorter, some of the best jazz has carried the sign of four

Keith Jarrett Quartet
This eclectic unit, featuring Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, and Paul Motian, stayed together for five years (1971 to 1976) and was underappreciated for many more. But in recent times, the so-called “American” Quartet’s stock has risen sharply. The adoration expressed for its fearlessly exploratory music by younger players like Branford Marsalis and the Bad Plus certainly hasn’t hurt. On The Survivors’ Suite (ECM), an ambitious two-part work released in 1976, Jarrett—typically for this band—plays not only piano but also soprano sax, bass recorder, celeste, and drums.

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Originally Published
Mac Randall

Mac Randall

Mac Randall has been the editor of JazzTimes since May 2018. Prior to that, he wrote regularly for the magazine. He has written about numerous genres of music for a wide variety of publications over the past 30 years, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New York Observer, Mojo, and Guitar Aficionado, and he has worked on the editorial staffs of Musician, LAUNCH (now Yahoo! Music), Guitar One, Teaching Music, Music Alive!, and In Tune Monthly. He is the author of two books, Exit Music: The Radiohead Story and 101 Great Playlists. He lives in New York City.