New Mingus Recordings for his Centennial Year

  I  
Image
(Photo: Courtesy of Resonance Records)

Charles Mingus’ centennial year will see a bounty of new recordings — both historical offerings and ambitious new works inspired by his influence. The latter category includes a Mingus retrospective on Posi-Tone Records called Blue Moods–Myth & Wisdom, and no fewer than three releases on Sunnyside: an all-star tribute by bassist John Hébert to his hero featuring Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Fred Hersch and Ches Smith; a tribute by clarinetist Harry Skoler that will feature Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Johnathan Blake, Nicholas Payton and Jazzmeia Horn, with a string quartet; and one by Chicago bassist Ethan Philion’s Meditations on Mingus, a 10-piece ensemble.

Meanwhile, Resonance Records, curator of previously unreleased jazz recordings, has unearthed a three-LP (or three-CD) project more than 10 years in the works — Mingus: The Lost Album From Ronnie Scott’s. The unheard-until-now London club performance features Mingus’ 1972 touring sextet featuring Charles McPherson on alto saxophone, Bobby Jones on tenor saxophone, and three remarkable new members: John Foster on piano (and occasional vocals), Detroit drummer Roy Brooks and trumpeter Jon Faddis, then a 19-year-old phenom.

The music was recorded for release by Columbia Records, which stationed an eight-track mobile recording truck outside the London jazz landmark. But Columbia dropped its entire jazz roster, except for Miles Davis, in 1973. The album never came out.

The tapes, which were recorded with great fidelity, include songs where Mingus, cognizant of recording an important new album, asked to retake certain pieces. In an interview with DownBeat, label co-president Zev Feldman gave credit to album co-producer David Weiss for handling the edits that Mingus intended.

“David did this with a lot of skill,” Feldman said. “Mingus wanted to retake the endings. He was a producer himself. He knew that something could be a little bit better. He was committed to making these performances as great as they could be.” DB



  • Casey_B_2011-115-Edit.jpg

    Benjamin possessed a fluid, round sound on the alto saxophone, and he was often most recognizable by the layers of electronic effects that he put onto the instrument.

  • David_Sanborn_by_C_Andrew_Hovan.jpg

    Sanborn’s highly stylized playing and searing signature sound — frequently ornamented with thrill-inducing split-tones and bluesy bent notes — influenced generations of jazz and blues saxophonists.

  • Albert_Tootie_Heath_2014_copy.jpg

    ​Albert “Tootie” Heath (1935–2024) followed in the tradition of drummer Kenny Clarke, his idol.

  • 1_Henry_Threadgills_Zooid_by_Cora_Wagoner.jpg

    Henry Threadgill performs with Zooid at Big Ears in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  • MichaelCuscuna_Katz_2042_6a_1995_copy.jpg

    Cuscuna played a singular role in the world of jazz as a producer of new jazz, R&B and rock recordings; as co-founder of a leading reissue record label; as a historian, journalist and DJ; and as the man who singlehandedly kept the Blue Note label on life support.


On Sale Now
May 2024
Stefon Harris
Look Inside
Subscribe
Print | Digital | iPad