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Charles Mingus: Right Now: Live At The Jazz Workshop

Jim Santella By

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Charles Mingus: Right Now: Live At The Jazz Workshop With Clifford Jordan on tenor, John Handy on alto, Jane Getz on piano, and Dannie Richmond on drums, Charles Mingus went into San Francisco in 1964 and whipped up a storm. Originally issued as Debut LP 86017, this session was reissued by Fantasy (Original Jazz Classics) in 1990 on compact disc. It contains two compositions over 23-minutes each: "New Fables" and "Meditation (For A Pair Of Wire Cutters)." The sound is very good, and the subtleties are included; you can hear Mingus urging his henchmen on, slapping his bass strings against the wood, and there are crowd noises to remind you this is a live session.

"New Fables" features a ten-minute solo from Jordan, some fine ensemble work, and a solo encounter from Handy. Mingus changes the mood as he sees fit, and one would describe these different styles as avant-garde (in 1964), blues, flamenco, and straight-ahead jazz. Handy's work is stirring, deeply imaginative, technically thrilling, and a harbinger of what was to come the following year at Monterey.

"Meditations" offers something quite different: Mingus bowing the bass in the cello range with that certain sad quality, teenager Jane Getz playing loose, free, and exciting, much as she does today, and a moment where Mingus joins Getz for a four-handed piano romp. The piece is a flowing ballad, but there are constant changes throughout. The music is, as Rachel Sales states in the liner notes, "what we have come to expect from Mingus the bassist-composer: the sound of exuberance, of angry involvement, or joy and rage, of going-for-broke, and most of all, the `sound of surprise'."


Title: Right Now: Live At The Jazz Workshop | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: Debut


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