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Chalres Mingus: Mingus At Carnegie Hall

Charles Mingus At Carnegie HallCharles Mingus At Carnegie Hall back
Chalres Mingus: Mingus At Carnegie Hall
1974 (Atlantic SD1667)

Side A:
C Jam Blues

Side B:
Perdido

Original Liner Notes:
by Sy Johnson

This was a jam session, pure and simple, a gathering of men from other Mingus bands to join the master with his latest one, onstage at Carnegie Hall. John Handy came in from the coast, a veteran of the impassioned bands of the late 50's; Charles McPherson, who has added Bird-like dimensions to ten years of Mingus service; Jon Faddis, who came to play lead trumpet at Snookie Young's recommendation for Mingus Philharmonic Hall concert, and who stayed to fill the ailing Roy Eldridge's shoes on Little Royal Suite; and of course Rahsaan Ronald Kirk, always ready to jam, start of several Mingus ensembles in his early years. They joined the current Mingus bans, George Adams on tenor; Hamiet Bluiett, baritone: Don Pullen, piano: and the other half of Mingus heart beat, Dannie Richmond on drums, who has seen mor Mingus service that anyone else. For materials to play, Mingus went to the common denominator of jazz, C Jam Blues and a near-blues in its universality, Perdido, both songs associated with the late Duke Ellington. C Jam Blues begins with John Handy's tenor, an instrument not usually associated with him, but which Mingus had asked him to bring. He is followed by Hamiet Bluiett, frequently sounding like a tenor on his baritone saxophone, exploiting the extreme registers and sonorities of the instrument. George Adams follows Bluiett, moving outside very quickly, at which point, Mingus notes, Rahssan Roland began "listenin' his ass." When Rahssan follows, he begins simply, but before he has played one chorus, he suddenly lunges into a George Adams imitation. A delighted Mingus recalls, "he was cuttin' him as his own shit." The lesson over, Rahssan plays a long solo, full of climaxes. At one point during a Ben Webster-like growl, Mingus said, "he didn't forget to the blues." Jon Faddis begins his solo with a typical Dizzy announcement, and goes one to praise Gillespie. Charles McPherson plays the last solo, appropriately Bird-like. After the closing line, Rahassan begins one of his non-stop drones as a pedal for some outside playing by the others. At one point, continuing his friendly rivalry with Adams, he reaches out and fingers Adams tenor, while Adams fingers his, each continuing to blow his own horn. It brought the house to its feet for a standign ovation.

The solo order on Perdido is John Handy, on alto this time: Hamiet Bluiett on baritone; Rahssan Roland Kirk on tenor; Jon Faddis, trumpet; and Don Pullen, piano. Underpinning is provided throughout by the surging power team of Mingus and Dannie Richmond.

Perhaps the best appraisal of this concert was contained in a letter from Art Weiner, proposing an annual Charles Mingus Jam Session, and calling this "one of the most exciting concerts we at New Audiences have ever produced."

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