The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is one of the greatest achievements in orchestration by any composer in jazz history. Charles Mingus consciously designed the six-part ballet as his magnum opus, and – implied in his famous inclusion of liner notes by his psychologist – it's as much an examination of his own tortured psyche as it is a conceptual piece about love and struggle. It veers between so many emotions that it defies easy encapsulation; for that matter, it can be difficult just to assimilate in the first place. Yet the work soon reveals itself as a masterpiece of rich, multi-layered texture and swirling tonal colors, manipulated with a painter's attention to detail. There are a few stylistic reference points – Ellington, the contemporary avant-garde, several flamenco guitar breaks – but the totality is quite unlike what came before it. Mingus relies heavily on the timbral contrasts between expressively vocal-like muted brass, a rumbling mass of low voices (including tuba and baritone sax), and achingly lyrical upper woodwinds, highlighted by altoist Charlie Mariano.
The complete long unavailable concert by Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy at the Salle Wagram, in Paris, for the first time ever on a single collection. As a bonus, we have added the two complete sets by the Chico Hamilton Quintet with Dolphy at Newport '58, including an extended previously unissued version of "Pottsville U.S.A." on which Dolphy plays a long solo on alto sax.
We are pleased to announce "Charles Mingus - The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 (Town Hall, Amsterdam, Monterey '64, Monterey '65 & Minneapolis)." It chronicles the essential live performances of this genius of modern music as his compositions achieved a depth and complexity we would come to know as Mingus's most signature work. It includes (on the earlier recordings) the brilliant Eric Dolphy, along with Jaki Byard, Dannie Richmond, Johnny Coles, and Clifford Jordan – certainly one of the best assemblages of musicians ever. And the music, recorded across the world's concert stages and intended for release by Charles Mingus Enterprises, dashes once and for all every previously-held notion about what is, and isn't, jazz.
This anthology collects a number of obscure 78s by Charles Mingus, many of which have not been reissued since they were originally released during the 1940s. Many of the vocal features are fairly traditional ballads, and Mingus was by no means an inventive lyricist, but it is the strong solos by the musicians within these tracks and the often rather progressive arrangements (even if their execution is not always perfect) that generally merit the most attention.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. I have almost everything available by Mingus and had passed on this because I didn't think I needed yet more versions of some of his classics by what seems like an unlikely crew in tow. How wrong I was!!!! Mingus is apparently playing with a mic on his bass and you can easily hear what a monster he is, how sublime he can be, and it is totally thrilling. Coryell and Catherine have their flurry of notes thing going but it does not come off as showing off or dull fusion riffing. They - and the rest of the band- sound as if they were meant to be, really listening and bringing something wonderfully new to Mingus music.
This is an LP reissue of a set that was originally titled Pre Bird because it features some of the advanced originals that Charles Mingus wrote prior to hearing Charlie Parker. The bassist leads an undisciplined but colorful 25-piece orchestra on three titles including an Eric Dolphy feature on "Bemonable Lady" while the other five tracks are by a ten-piece (including two pianos) band; Lorraine Cousins sings "Eclipse" and "Weird Nightmare." It's an interesting set of typically unconventional music by Mingus.