Great Concert of Charles Mingus CDs (1964)
Great American Songwriter songs Though a different version of this 1964 Paris concert was previously available on import, THE GREAT CONCERT OF CHARLES MINGUS restores the original song order and includes previously unreleased tracks. One of these is pianist Jaki Byard's solo opener, "A.T.F.W." (the initials of Art Tatum and Fats Waller), a ragged, beautiful collage of classical, bop, and ragtime themes. Another is the full, original version of "So Long Eric (Don't Stay Over There Too Long)," which in its previously issued version was cobbled together from different performances.
The line-up includes Mingus on bass, Byard, drummer Dannie Richmond, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, and the incomparable Eric Dolphy on flute, alto sax, and bass clarinet. Mingus's sophisticated, complex compositions (which manage, somehow, to remain deeply rooted in earthy blues) are enlivened by Byard, Jordan, and Dolphy (whose nimble imagination, wit, and acrobatic skills are enough to recommend the set). "Fables of Faubus" swings, settles, and builds to a frenzy; "Sophisticated Lady," written by Mingus's idol Duke Ellington, spotlights the leader's bass chops; and the quote-filled "Parkeriana (Dedicated to a Genius)" pays glorious tribute to Charlie Parker. This is challenging, historic music; the album's title is no misnomer.
Personnel: Charles Mingus (bass instrument); Eric Dolphy (flute, bass clarinet, alto saxophone); Clifford Jordan (tenor saxophone); Jaki Byard (piano); Dannie Richmond (drums).
Liner Note Author: Bruno Guermonprez.