279

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

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: Don't Be Afraid... The Music of Charles Mingus 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.


Track Listing: Dizzy Moods; Black Saint & the Sinner Lady; Meditation on Integration; Tijuana Gift Shop; Los Mariachis; Don't Be Afraid, the Clown's Afraid Too.

Personnel: Wess Anderson: alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone; Ted Nash: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Walter Blanding: tenor saxophone; Victor Goines: tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Joe Temperley: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Wynton Marsalis, Lew Soloff, Ryan Kisor, Marcus Printup: trumpet; Ron Westray, Vincent Gardner: trombone; Andre Hayward: trombone, tuba; Eric Lewis: piano; Carlos Henriquez: bass; Herlin Riley: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Mettã" CD/LP/Track Review Mettã
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Magia" CD/LP/Track Review Magia
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Oakland/Lisboa" CD/LP/Track Review Oakland/Lisboa
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "The Golden Measure" CD/LP/Track Review The Golden Measure
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Illegal Crowns" CD/LP/Track Review Illegal Crowns
by John Sharpe
Published: December 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!