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Mingus at Birdland 1961-62

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I couldn't find a previous thread that discussed these recordings, so here goes. This is, imo, essential stuff that deserves an official release. What's the story behind these, who has the original tapes (do better tapes exist than what Rose recorded off air?), and just who was Rose anyway?

For those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about...

http://webusers.siba.fi/~eonttone/mingus/birdland.html

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I couldn't find a previous thread that discussed these recordings, so here goes.  This is, imo, essential stuff that deserves an official release.  What's the story behind these, who has the original tapes (do better tapes exist than what Rose recorded off air?), and just who was Rose anyway? 

For those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about...

http://webusers.siba.fi/~eonttone/mingus/birdland.html

Back around 1970-71, I met Boris Rose when I worked in a Greenwich Village record store that specialized in jazz. He made it known to me that he had hours and hours of tapes of 'Birdland' broadcasts of various jazz artists. Around the same time I began an ongoing correspondence with a Mingus fanatic who lived in Croydon, Surrey in the UK. At his behest I approached Boris Rose who resided in a building that he owned on 10th Street off 1st Avenue in what is now known as the East Village. One fine day, I went to his home and was amazed to see at least 15 Crown open reel decks and a variety of recording equipment including a machine that cut acetate discs. For $30 a disc, kind of expensive back then, I came home with the complete Mingus 1961-62 Birdland material. My English buddy and I split the cost of the acetates. I still own these acetates, however they have only been played a couple of times as I rather immediately made open reel tapes of these broadcasts from them both for myself and for my English friend. This friend, with whom I haven't had any contact since the early '90s, is mentioned in the frontispiece of Brian Priestley's biography of Mingus.

I would not be surprised if the tapes mentioned in your link can ultimately be traced back to my acetate discs as I'm rather sure my English friend disseminated dubs of the open reel tapes I made for him, to Priestley and perhaps to others. While Boris Rose did put out some of this Mingus material, originally on various bootleg LPs that had labels known as "Ozone", "Session", "Alto", etc., he did not put out the entire Mingus 1961-62 Birdland material to my knowledge. Also, when he did release material, it would be edited to remove all of the Pee Wee Marquette and Symphony Sid announcements, stuff that's present on the acetates I own. Mr. Rose is no longer with us and I'm not sure what's been done with his treasure trove of tapes. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the best source for this material at this point. However, let me hasten to add that I'm not looking to disseminate this material in deference to Sue Mingus and the rules/behavioral guide of this forum.

Edited by MartyJazz

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(gulp)

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Wow, Marty - I'm sure glad I asked! :D

The copy that I (gulp) downloaded a few months back has the announcements, and reading some of the description on that link is what caused me to wonder the origin of this version.

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Calling Uptown Records--how about a followup to the Mingus in California set--Birdland Broadcasts (please).

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Hurricane Sue was apparently not a pleasure to deal with, if you'll remember...

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I recently found these on Usenet.

Here is the info that was included with the downloads.

Charles Mingus

Complete Birdland Broadcasts

1961-1962

Disc 1

October 21, 1961

1. Blue Cee

2. Ecclustiastics

3. Hog Callin' Blues (incomplete)

Charles Mingus, Roland Kirk, Yusef lateef, Jimmy Knepper, Doug Watkins, Dannie Richmond

March 24, 1962

4. Intro by Symphony sid

5. Take the A Train

6. Fables of Faubus

7. Eat That Chicken

Charles Mingus, Booker Ervin, charles McPherson, Richard Williams, Toshiko Akiyoshi or Jaki Byard, Dannie Richmond

October 19, 1962

8. The Search (I Can't Get Started)

9. Mon, Funk or Vice Versa

10. Please Don't Come Back From The Moon

11. Eat That Chicken

Charles Mingus, Charles McPherson, Eddie Armour, Don Butterfield, Jaki Byard, Pepper Adams, Dannie Richmond

EAC > LAME 3.96 VBR

jd

Charles Mingus

Complete Birdland Broadcasts

1961-1962

Disc 2:

May 5, 1962:

1. Theme

2. Reets And I

3. Monk, Funk Or Vice Versa

4. Devil Woman

5. Eat That Chicken

Charles Mingus: bass 3; piano 1, 3, 4, 5

Booker Ervin: tenor sax

Charles McPherson: alto sax

Richard Williams: trumpet

Toshiko Akiyoshi: piano 2, 3

Herman Wright: bass 2

Henry Grimes alternating with Herman Wright: bass 1, 3, 4, 5

Dannie Richmond: drums

March 31, 1962:

6. Monk, Funk Or Vice Versa

7. Oh Lord, Don¥t Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me

8. Eat That Chicken

Charles Mingus: bass

Booker Ervin: tenor sax

Charles McPherson: alto sax

Richard Williams: trumpet

Toshiko Akiyoshi: piano

Dannie Richmond: drums

MC-ing by PeeWee Marquette (1961) and Symphony Sid Torin (1962)

FM(WADO FM, NYC) > acetates>reels(2-track, 7 1/2ips)>Soundforge (equalization) >CDR

All I did was EAC>LAME - VBR

jd

Charles Mingus

Complete Birdland Broadcasts

1961-1962

Disc 3:

May 12, 1962:

1. Introduction By Symphony Sid

2. Peggy¥s Blue Skylight

3. Tijuana Table Dance (a.k.a. Ysabel¥s Table Dance)

4. Eat That Chicken

Charles Mingus: bass and piano

Booker Ervin: tenor sax

Charles McPherson: alto sax

Toshiko Akiyoshi: piano

Henry Grimes: bass

October 26, 1962:

5. O.P.

6. The Search (I Can¥t Get Started)

7. Symphony Sid Announcement/Eat That Chicken

8. Monk, Funk Or Vice Versa

Charles Mingus: bass

Charles McPherson: alto sax

Eddie Armour: fluegelhorn

Don Butterfield: tuba

Jaki Byard: piano

Pepper Adams: baritone sax

Dannie Richmond

MC-ing by PeeWee Marquette (1961) and Symphony Sid Torin (1962)

FM(WADO FM, NYC) > acetates>reels(2-track, 7 1/2ips)>Soundforge (equalization) >CDR

All I did was EAC>LAME - VBR

jd

B-)

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Wow, Marty - I'm sure glad I asked!  :D

The copy that I (gulp) downloaded a few months back has the announcements, and reading some of the description on that link is what caused me to wonder the origin of this version.

I've gone back to the link you provided and read in detail the description provided there concerning the provenance of the music and announcements that are listed. I'll just add one postscript. When Boris Rose made acetates, he did it strictly for the purpose of earning income from private collectors such as me and my UK friend. As a result, whenever you read of Boris Rose and acetates of music for any artist, you can be sure that the acetates are in the hands of a private collector who paid to have them made. Mr. Rose regarded his tapes as the ultimate source, valued them as such and undoubtedly used them to churn out the various edited bootleg LPs that were issued throughout the '70s, e.g., the Coltrane-Dolphy 'Birdland' material, a discussion of which is now going on in another thread. Concerning the latter material, my tapes have all the additional announcements not issued anywhere else as they were made for me by a collector who purchased acetates of unedited Coltrane broadcasts from Boris Rose.

Edited by MartyJazz

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Hurricane Sue was apparently not a pleasure to deal with, if you'll remember...

Oh. I think that was before my time here (or on the Blue Note Board).

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Marty, what else did he have besides Mingus?

I think the late Bill Miner once told me that he had a list, or more properly, a looseleaf book on every broadcast tape that Boris Rose had. How he got that from Rose I don't know. I would easily say that if any broadcast emanated from 'Birdland' and perhaps several other clubs e.g., the 'Royal Roost', 'Cafe Bohemia', etc., from the late '40s through the mid '50s, Rose was quite likely to have it. So while I can't just cough up the names of artists at will, many of the great names as well as lesser ones are represented in those tapes.

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Marty, what else did he have besides Mingus?

I think the late Bill Miner once told me that he had a list, or more properly, a looseleaf book on every broadcast tape that Boris Rose had. How he got that from Rose I don't know. I would easily say that if any broadcast emanated from 'Birdland' and perhaps several other clubs e.g., the 'Royal Roost', 'Cafe Bohemia', etc., from the late '40s through the mid '50s, Rose was quite likely to have it. So while I can't just cough up the names of artists at will, many of the great names as well as lesser ones are represented in those tapes.

Hopefully they don't belong to the ages and one day they will surface on some lable.

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The Boris Rose collection is now held by a university - I forget which. The respected sound engineer Doug Pomeroy has been contracted to assist:

http://www.smokebox.net/archives/rootcella...otpomeroy2.html

I have info on a lot of the recordings, but *definitely* not all. I am in the process of getting this info into my database. Rose's notes do not give all needed information - dates (usually accurate), locations, leader, many titles (but not all - and there are misspellings to watch for), approximate timings, but rarely sidemen.

Mike

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I think the late Bill Miner once told me that he had a list, or more properly, a looseleaf book on every broadcast tape that Boris Rose had.

I have this as well. It's about 3/4 of an inch thick.

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Great to hear that the recordings exist.

JP: So what are you currently working on along these lines?

DP: Well, I may be doing a job for the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers - the WNEW broadcast recordings of jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams, from 1945. The job would be to archive the original 16" discs (lacquer on glass) to CD-R. Also, I'm the engineer who was chosen by the late Boris Rose to transfer his legendary collection of broadcast recordings, and I will be working on more of that material in the coming months.

Final Note: The story of the late Boris Rose is a good one – in fact, it is still developing, as Doug plans to meet with his daughter soon to discuss what to do with all the valuable broadcast performances that were recorded by Mr. Rose from 1945 into the ‘60s. A few months down the road, I will devote a column to this story, so stay tuned. As for next month, I’ll be writing about a few unsung jazz greats and also introducing a new live music review column, which will be written by committee. Should be fun!

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Chuck - I think we are speaking of the same book. But this is only the "Birdland" book (incl. Royal Roost, and later things like Half Note) - there are many many other broadcasts not included. I will have to investigate further, but I'm pretty sure I have seen a book about the size of a telephone directory with additional things, and I think that was only partial.

Another interesting thing is that there are Birdland broadcasts that are known (some issued even) that are NOT listed in Rose's Birdland book.

Mike

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I found this in a Denver Post article on the Mingus Big Band:

"So she [sue Mingus] undertook the massive project of finding the proper musicians to play Mingus' compositions. She now oversees the Mingus- related projects, produces the CDs, (including the forthcoming 'I Am Three') and plans to release a series of previously unheard '60s performances. A visit to the website mingusmingusmingus.com details the ever-growing Mingus empire."

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[EDIT: Post deleted here & used to start new thread.]

Edited by JSngry

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Stuff like this always amuses me when artists/labels/fans dismiss "bootlegs" without considering the bigger picture, namely that the "historical record" of such concerts/broadcasts would be lost forever without the work of somelike like Rose preserving them. Time also seems to heal over any wounds as no one seems to criticize Rose (at least anymore) for his actions, though from what I've read his motives were driven by profit as much (or more?) than preservation. (Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.)

In this case, Mingus is a pretty big star, but what of the other, more obscure artists who may have been recorded? If these Birdland tapes were ever released legitimately, I'm sure they would sell in respectable numbers, but what of musicians who might only appeal to a few hundred people or so, making a legit release (getting clearances, paying royalties, pressing CDs, etc.) a money-losing endeavor?

This reminds me of a story a couple of years back in the L.A. Times about a guy who back in the 40s and 50s recorded thousands of country/bluegrass/hayride-type shows out in Virginia or some such place. Some of his homemade recordings are the only remaining records of this type of music by certain musicians. IIRC, many of the musicians at the time allowed him to set up his gear and record these rural shows, and when the guy died his home was filled with thousands of boxes of tapes. Some museum or country music association has these now, and they'd like to release some of them (heck, perhaps they already have), but at the time they were unsure if any of these could be officially released because the "legal costs" associated with releasing them would be more than what they could hope to make by selling so few copies.

I work in an industry that's very concerned about artists' rights and copyright law (well, maybe more "corporate rights" in my case ^_^ ), so I'm pretty sensitive about such things, but I'm also fascinated in that blurry line between copyright and public domain issues - and stuff like these Boris Rose tapes seem increasingly to fall into the latter category. One hates to see a "bootlegger" profit over the artists, but at the same time it's only due to the actions of such a "bootlegger" that this stuff is even available to argue about.

Seriously, anyone have any idea what it would take to give these (and other tapes like it) a legitimate release... or are these types of things what the whole "private recordings" subculture is made for?

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Michael Cuscuna recently told me: "In most cases, it is very difficult to clear this stuff, lots of lawyers, managers and record companies to deal with for proper clearances. For the most part it is out of our league." This was referring to Mosaic.

Now, one of the big - what are we down to: three? four? - could throw enough money around to make something happen. This is why Columbia and Blue Note can issue "new" Miles Davis stuff.

The problem (OK, *a* problem) is that the big labels don't care so it's unlikely that we fanatics will see legit issues of 99.44% of this stuff.

Mike

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This material is now up on easytree.org. Seems to be the more complete version discussed here.

Hey MartyJazz, are the copies you have in noticably better sound than the issues on Session, Alto ect.?

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last night I found a copy of some of these on a European bootleg CD I own -

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This material is now up on easytree.org. Seems to be the more complete version discussed here.

Hey MartyJazz, are the copies you have in noticably better sound than the issues on Session, Alto ect.?

Because I have the complete broadcast material with announcements, etc., I never bothered to purchase the bootleg LPs of this material. Therefore I can't answer that. Another reason I purchased very few of the Ozone, Session, Alto, etc., LPs is that the "quality control" for these records was nonexistent as one might expect. Not wanting to listen to the inevitable pops and abrupt beginnings & endings as a result of the editing out of spoken material, I took a pass. However, since I do have some of these LPs for other artists, I would guess that the fidelity of the original acetates was superior as judged by the tape copies I made. Having heard at the time that acetate discs wear faster than vinyl LPs, I only played these discs twice in order to make 2 sets of taped dubs and that was over 30 years ago!

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This material is now up on easytree.org. Seems to be the more complete version discussed here.

Hey MartyJazz, are the copies you have in noticably better sound than the issues on Session, Alto ect.?

Thanks for the tip!

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Oh man. This stuff really sounds GOOD, all things considered. You can hear the piano and bass very, very clearly, and drums are decent.

That Symphony Sid intro is pretty weird, too. I guess they were playing background music of the MJQ rendition of "Django" over the PA or something. And Sid is quite audible telling the band to hurry it up and start.

Edited by Big Wheel

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