Bassist Charles Mingus was largely inactive in music during 1966-69. This CD finds Mingus leading a new sextet comprised of veteran alumni (altoist Charles McPherson, pianist Jaki Byard and drummer Dannie Richmond) and two newcomers (trumpeter Eddie Preston and Bobby Jones on tenor). The music, two new songs ("The Man Who Never Sleeps" and "O.P.") and a remake of "Orange Was the Color of Her Dress," is enjoyable although not particularly innovative; it does have some exciting moments.
Reissue. Features the latest remastering. Includes a Japanese description, lyrics. Features original cover artwork. A pivotal album in the career of Charles Mingus – one that really has him honing his sound, and reaching for that trademark mix of modernism and raw emotion that set a whole generation on fire! The album's a lot more freewheeling than other Mingus material from the time – although still a bit more compact than the Atlantic or Columbia sides – and the group's staffed with key early interpreters of Charles' vision – including John LaPorta on alto, Teo Macero on tenor and baritone, Thad Jones on trumpet, Clem DeRosa on drums, and Jackson Wiley on cello – an instrument that really helps shade in some of the darker corners of the tunes. Titles include great early originals like "Four Hands", "Minor Intrusion", "Thrice Upon A Theme", and "The Spur Of The Moment" – plus his great take on "Stormy Weather", which is a bit stormier than most!
This album is unique in Mingus' enormous catalog. As the title indicates, the famous bassist takes to the ivories solo to give life to his dazzling improvisational art. At first it seems odd to hear Mingus without one of his trademark interactive and exploratory ensembles. But the sensibility that he brings to this collection of piano pieces bears all the signs of the composer's genius…
Of all the titles in the Impulse! 2 on 1 series, this volume may be the very finest. It pairs two indisputable classic Charles Mingus titles – both of which have endured for nearly 50 years – that were cut during the same year. While The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady was recorded on January 20, 1963, the recording that ended up as Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus was begun that very day, but not finished until September. The former album is rightly regarded as one of (if not the) Mingus' masterpieces for its use of colors, tonalities, expansive harmonies, and the juxtaposition of numerous aspects of the jazz tradition – from Ellingtonian swing to hard bop, to West Coast and new-thing jazz – employing a vocal chorus, and even Latin and flamenco flourishes in a single conceptual work played by an 11-piece orchestra.
This is a very interesting recording. Aging arranger/pianist Gil Evans agreed after much persuasion to come to Paris and play his music at a few concerts with Laurent Cugny's Orchestra. After only one rehearsal, the first event took place, and it gratified Evans to realize that the young French musicians were not only excellent players but big Gil Evans fans. Their interpretations of Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning," "London" and "La Nevada" rank with the best versions of Evans's regular Monday Night Band, and Cugny's "Charlie Mingus' Sound of Love" (an answer to Mingus' "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love") is also excellent. Few of the sidemen, other than tenor-saxophonist Andy Sheppard and percussionist Marilyn Mazur, are known in the U.S., but they did an excellent job of bringing Gil Evans's music to life.
The first comprehensive documentary of Afro-American jazz bassist, bandleader and composer Charles Mingus. Mingus led a tumultuous life filled with trauma and frustration, joy and creativity. Not light enough to be considered white and not dark enough to fit into the black community, he was an outcast in American society who charted his own path. Likewise, his legacy as a 20th Century composer reaches far beyond conventional jazz idioms. Mingus apprenticed with people like Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton and Charlie Parker before going out on his own and becoming a musical force for more than a decade. When interest in his music waned at the height of the rock era in the mid-1960s, and one of his closest collaborators Eric Dolphy died, he was institutionalized due to psychological problems. Upon his return to the music scene, he began playing more concerts and his sales zoomed. This golden period of recognition ended when he contracted Lou Gehrig's disease and his music began to deteriorate. He died in 1979.
One of the first great improvisers on the xylophone and marimba, Red Norvo was also one of the few swing-era stars to make a successful transition to the harmonic and rhythmic challenges of bebop (he recorded with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in 1945). By that time he had switched up to a vibraphone–a more versatile instrument with its amplified sound and sustain pedal–but his steely rhythmic articulation always reflected his experiences as an acoustic mallet player…