Sunday, February 8, 2009

Above and Beyond the Underdog

There are few jazz musicians who leave or have left a stronger flavour to the music on which they have collaborated or created than Charles Mingus. Much has been written about his volcanic personality, his singular composing skills (equaled in breadth and quality only by Ellington and, perhaps one day, Wayne Shorter), and his keen skills at getting the best out of his musical employees. And then there’s his formidable prowess with a double bass.

The aspect of Mingus’ music which usually most appealed to me was its sense of “controlled anarchy” – that feeling that anything might happen next, that the music might take a series of unexpected turns and be so far from its origin that the drama of the trip back kept you on the edge of your seat.

Here is a radio broadcast of a Mingus concert from July of 1972. Despite the fact that the band he has here is not one of his classic ensembles, there is no denying the high level of musicianship and inspired playing by all involved. Mingus on bass; Jon Faddis on trumpet; Charles McPherson on alto; Bobby Jones on tenor sax and clarinet; John Foster on piano and Roy Brooks on drums. Dizzy Gillespie plays trumpet and sings toward the end of this jazz festival performance. Enjoy!

Get it here.

No comments:

Post a Comment