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Charles Mingus

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One of the most important figures in twentieth century American music, Charles Mingus was a virtuoso bass player, accomplished pianist, bandleader and composer. Born on a military base in Nogales, Arizona in 1922 and raised in Watts, California, his earliest musical influences came from the church— choir and group singing— and from "hearing Duke Ellington over the radio when [he] was eight years old." He studied double bass and composition in a formal way (five years with H. Rheinshagen, principal bassist of the New York Philharmonic, and compositional techniques with the legendary Lloyd Reese) while absorbing vernacular music from the great jazz masters, first-hand

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Article: Album Review

Silke Everhard Trio: Being The Up And Down

Read "Being The Up And Down" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Sometimes one must pass through the flames to get free. That thought has shadowed the career of Silke Eberhard. The saxophonist has been consumed with the firebrands Eric Dolphy, Charles Mingus, and Ornette Coleman for years now. She has recorded Dolphy's complete oeuvre with her band Potsa Lotsa, both in small and large configurations. Covered Mingus ...

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Article: Interview

Adam Kahan: Capturing the Essence of Jazz in a Film

Read "Adam Kahan: Capturing the Essence of Jazz in a Film" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Too many are the documentaries produced and directed in a formulaic way using archival clips, photos, and hastily staged interviews that are intended to make a series of facts evident and bring out a few key points. At their best, they give a reasonably realistic illustrated depiction of people, places, and things. That is why a ...

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Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Impulse Records: Music, Message & The Moment

Read "Impulse Records: Music, Message & The Moment" reviewed by Chris May


Those of us for whom Impulse has been as important a part of our cultural lives as Blue Note, perhaps even a more important one, will not be satisfied until the label reissues its entire catalogue on remastered CDs and audiophile vinyl. In the meantime, it would be churlish to do anything other than applaud such ...

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Article: Album Review

Gary Bartz NTU Troop: Live In Bremen

Read "Live In Bremen" reviewed by Chris May


In the early 1970s there was fusion and there was NTU Troop. After paying his dues in bands led by Charles Mingus, Max Roach and Art Blakey, Bartz made a splash in 1969 with his sophomore album, Another Earth (Milestone), a genius blend of spiritual jazz, space jazz and down and dirty blues. On it, Bartz ...

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Article: On the Road With...

On the Road con Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids

Read "On the Road con Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids" reviewed by Gioele Pagliaccia


La prima volta che vidi Idris Ackamoor fu al Centro Stabile di Cultura una domenica nel novembre 2018. Gli organizzatori di questo storico locale a San Vito di Leguzzano, un piccolo paese a mezz'ora da Vicenza circondato da fonderie e campi di grano, mi avevano chiesto se potevo prestare la mia Ludwig al batterista dei Pyramids, ...

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Article: Radio

A Quasi-Centennial Mingus Festivus: The Charles Mingus Songbook, Part 2

Read "A Quasi-Centennial Mingus Festivus: The Charles Mingus Songbook, Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


We continue our focus on the compositions of Charles Mingus, on the eve of what would have been his 99th birthday. Today's jazz would sound very different if Mingus had not been around and for this show we focus on his best renditions of his most beautiful compositions.PlaylistBen Allison Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted ...

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Article: Album Review

Clifford Jordan: These Are My Roots: Clifford Jordan Plays Leadbelly

Read "These Are My Roots: Clifford Jordan Plays Leadbelly" reviewed by Chris May


These Are My Roots: Clifford Jordan Plays Leadbelly is an oft overlooked item in the canon of tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, whose chef d'oeuvre was undoubtedly Glass Bead Games (Strata-East, 1974), one of the most exalted jazz albums of its era. But These Are My Roots, which was originally released on Atlantic in 1965 and has ...

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Article: Interview

Gary Bartz At 80: On Jazz Is Dead, Miles Davis And Why Improvisation Is A Dirty Word

Read "Gary Bartz At 80: On Jazz Is Dead, Miles Davis And Why Improvisation Is A Dirty Word" reviewed by Rob Garratt


It's hard to talk to Gary Bartz about music. Not because he's a difficult or reluctant interviewee—quite the opposite. In fact, the 80-year-old saxophonist is refreshingly unguarded and garrulous when looking back over his formidable six-decade musical career. It's just finding the right words that's the tricky part. Like many musicians, jazz isn't one ...

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Article: Radio

A Quasi-Centennial Mingus Festivus: The Charles Mingus Songbook, Part 1

Read "A Quasi-Centennial Mingus Festivus: The Charles Mingus Songbook, Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Charles Mingus would have turned 99 years old on 22 April 2021. So with a year ahead of his centennial celebration we've decided to focus this edition of Mondo Jazz on Mingus as a composer, featuring some of the best renditions of his most memorable compositions.Happy listening!PlaylistBen Allison Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. ...


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