by Peter Jurew
Mingus Big BandJazz StandardNew York, NY April 24, 2017 Saturday, April 22, was an unusually good day. It started, blessedly, when the president did not tweet out a series of early morning fabrications/accusations to befuddle the free world. And it could only get better from there: It was Earth Day! Scientists marked the 27th edition with a global March For Science, and tens of thousands of people made a full-throated defense of fact-based (as opposed ...read more
by Peter Jurew
The Cookers Birdland New York, NY September 15, 2016 The Cookers are an all-star septet that takes its name from the classic Freddie Hubbard album, The Night Of The Cookers, a 1965 live effort from the master trumpeter who passed in 2008. A somewhat fluid lineup earlier in the group's seven year existence has solidified with trumpeters David Weiss and Eddie Henderson out front with Billy Harper on tenor and Donald Harrison ...read more
by Robert R. Calder
"Wham, Bam," indeed! Compared to the best performances by the late Charles Mingus, this effort has the air of more orthodox big bands like the ones led by Clarke/Boland and Jones/Lewis, which is also to say the best. McCoy Tyner's band on a good night has included some of the same performers featured on this live release, and Dave Kikoski is a somewhat Tynerish pianist, but for all that, the Mingus truth burns through. The drive of ...read more
by Craig W. Hurst
The legacy of the artistic genius of bassist/composer/bandleader Charles Mingus continues its viability nearly a quarter century after his untimely death. Through the creative vision of his widow Sue Mingus, conductor/arranger Gunther Schuller, arrangers Robbie Cuber, Jack Walrath, Sydney Johnson, and the cadre of New York jazz musicians associated with the Mingus Big Band and Charles Mingus Orchestra, Charles Mingus' music continues to intellectually provoke and intrigue listeners.
The newest installment by the Mingus ...read more
by Jim Santella
Reinterpreting the compositions of Charles Mingus means planning ahead of time what Mingus created spontaneously in front of an audience. With his control-the-bass-line-rhythm, and with some vocal cheerleading, he'd have his band give its audience a thrilling performance every night out. The big bands capture that feeling in its entirety, and display it clearly and crisply; but without the same gusto Mingus always managed to project. This time, four of the ten pieces are performed by a different ensemble: the ...read more
by Jim Santella
Folks who are new to jazz usually know about Charles Mingus right from the start. The feeling, however, comes when you’re ready for it. Some feel it right off. Others learn about Mingus music gradually.
For over a decade, the Mingus Big Band has served its public well. Weekly appearances at the Fez in New York, international tours, and five grand Dreyfus recordings have served those of us who need frequent revisits. The emotional lift you get from Mingus’ music ...read more