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Two decades following the death of Charles Mingus, his musical legacy is more alive than ever. Stefano Maltese's Open Music Orchestra adds its reflections with Open Letter To Mingus, a personal tribute to one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. It is an exceptional appreciation and notable for the enduring strength of such Mingus conceptions as "Pithecantropus Erectus," " Peggy 's Blue Skylight," "Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love," "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" and "Eclipse." Maltese's well-rehearsed and finely rendered harmonic treatments suggest that Mingus remains a vital presence in the jazz heritage. One should not be so surprised that the composer's work still sounds contemporary and worthy of continued interest. Here, the orchestra deeply immerses itself in the challenges of the Mingus conundrum (as a regular feature in 1970s Italian jazz festivals, Mingus remains revered among the current crop of Italian jazz talent). Each one from Eugenio Colombo to Carlo Actis Dato - play at their best and pay full heed to the magic of Mingus's music. Open Letter to Mingus is like an Italian postcard, overflowing with passion and beauty signed with love, to one of the great jazz musicians of this century.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.