Following the 88th birthday of legendary bassist, composer and bandleader Charles Mingus (1922-1979), his spirit and repertoire is kept alive with the recent album release of Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard. Recorded live at Jazz Standard on New Year’s Eve 2008 as part of a nationwide NPR-WBGO “Toast of the Nation” broadcast (and later enhanced during in-studio post-production), the CD celebrates some of Mingus’ best-known tunes from exactly 50 years ago.
Co-produced by Sue Mingus and Seth Abramson, Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard marks the tenth Mingus Big Band recording, six of which have been nominated for Grammys. According to Sue Mingus, who produces Jazz Standard’s “Mingus Mondays” series, “this recording embodies the essence of Mingus’ spirit from ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’ – perhaps his best-known composition- to the rarely performed ‘New Now Know How.’ ”
“We’re thrilled to be sharing what was an unprecedented and memorable night of music performed on our Jazz Standard stage,” exclaims Seth Abramson, Artistic Director of Jazz Standard.
Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard showcases swinging dance tunes, gospel hollers, church music, lush ballads and, of course, the blues. The opening track is a Charlie Parker tribute, “Gunslinging Bird,” followed by “New Now Know How” performed here for the first time since its original recording in a new arrangement by Sy Johnson. It features a trumpet battle between Kenny Rampton and Randy Brecker, who recorded with Mingus on his final album and has played in Mingus repertory bands since they began 30 years ago.
Performed back-to-back are two of Mingus’ preeminent compositions: “Moanin,” followed by probably the most covered Mingus tune, “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” an enduring classic written in honor of Lester Young. Ending New Year’s Eve at midnight before a celebratory crowd, and rounding out the album, is “Song with Orange,” in an arrangement by John Stubblefield, a former member of the Mingus Big Band who ignited Mingus music for over a decade.
Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard augments the long-term “Mingus Mondays” performance series at Jazz Standard. Raved as probably the best in the world, “…the weekly Monday Mingus show at the Jazz Standard is New York’s most transcendent weekly residency (LucidCulture.com).”
Get acquainted with the Mingus band here: http://www.mingusmingusmingus.com