Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

279

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: Don't Be Afraid... The Music of Charles Mingus

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Six compositions by Charles Mingus give the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra something different to work with. The swing is still there, but each piece echoes with the emotional strength and ferocity that its composer espoused through his ensembles. As with the original, you get a powerful bass line that leads the way, and you get thrilling soloists who provide impeccable examples of musicianship. What's missing is the passion that Mingus took with him everywhere he went.

Wynton Marsalis solos brilliantly throughout the performance. His portrayal of the music, however, remains quite mild when compared to Mingus. Smooth and serene, much of the concert takes on an appearance that recalls Marsalis' soundtrack for Tune in Tomorrow. The music of Mingus should, indeed, contain the swing and the fun that Marsalis has adopted as his trademark; however, the music should also fill itself with the ferocity and passion that Mingus represented.

The album's liner notes do not indicate who is performing in which solo spot. Marsalis takes the spotlight often, however, and shares the platform with his all-star ensemble. The moods change often, and the orchestra turns each corner effectively with precision. As Joe Temperley's baritone saxophone wails mournfully on "Meditation on Integration," you can feel the song's underlying meaning. Eric Lewis follows with a powerful piano solo that reinforces Mingus' social and political statements.

The album's title track, "Don't Be Afraid, the Clown's Afraid Too," mellows with a humorous swing approach that remains light and delicate. Wess Anderson, Eric Lewis, Carlos Henriquez, Victor Goines, and Ted Nash step forward with individual efforts that lend a bit of intimacy to the session. However, the music of Charles Mingus deserves that kind of personal touch more forcefully from start to finish.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Sleight Of Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Sleight Of Hand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Baby Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Baby Talk
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "Pelagos" CD/LP/Track Review Pelagos
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Living Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Living Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Poetry from the Future" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry from the Future
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 30, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor