Joel Dorn, producer of The Masked Announcer series on the popular 32 JAZZ label, had the good sense to get the goods on this recording originally released by Atlantic in 1973 and re-issue it in the Winter of 1999. MINGUS MOVES, by the demanding, late genius, bassist Charles Mingus, is once again available after being out of print for many years. In 1973, Mingus introduced new artists to his Jazz Workshop. This excellent quintet consisted of Ronald Hampton on trumpet, George Adams on tenor sax and flute, Don Pullen on piano, Dannie Richmond on drums and vocalists Honey Gordon & Doug Hammond.
The set opens with the Mingus composition, “Canon,” with an exceptionally relaxed Mingus presenting his “rules” in sacred tandem with the warm, flowing sound of George Adams’ sax and Don Pullen’s piano. Two more Mingus originals follow, “Opus 3” and “Opus 4,” thus titled as a result of Mingus “not being able to think of any other title he liked for them!” He and Pullen implement the Mingus stories with the kind of natural essence Mingus preferred and as a result of Mingus’ admiration for Don Pullen’s ability to play any kind of style. Mingus’ powerful tone and pulsating sense of rhythm are in the pocket, walking alongside very memorable sax and piano improvs by Adams and Pullen. “Moves,” written by Doug Hammond who preceded Dannie Richmond as drummer, connects with the relaxed Mingus on this special vocal duet with Honey Gordon. George Adams’ flute is gentle and lyrical, sustaining the mood of the piece.
In contrast to the larger ensembles normally associated with Charles Mingus and his Jazz Workshop, this smaller group merits considerable praise for the beautiful sophistication interwoven with the dynamic expressive power of avante-garde jazz. A “must have” for any avante-garde jazz collection.
TRACKS: CANON; OPUS 4; MOVES; WEE; FLOWERS FOR A LADY; NEWCOMER; OPUS 3;
PERSONNEL: CHARLES MINGUS, bass; Ronald Hampton, trumpet; George Adams, tenor sax & flute; Don Pullen, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; Honey Gordon, Doug Hammond, vocals.