Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Guy Berger

Charles Mingus, The Complete Town Hall Concert

19 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

This is quite good!

I picked this up on CD during one of Blue Note’s periodic catalogue culpa but didn’t get around to spinning it until recently... I know it was a logistical disaster and maybe execution was short of perfect, but we’re talking about Mingus in his creative prime.

and Eric Dolphy sounds great!

Edited by Guy Berger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Though the totally unrelated OJC Town Hall Concert from two years later is obviously much better)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of those events that you wish a film crew had been present for, right? I think it would be one of the greatest pieces of unintentional performance art in the history of unintentional performance art.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, JSngry said:

This is one of those events that you wish a film crew had been present for, right? I think it would be one of the greatest pieces of unintentional performance art in the history of unintentional performance art.

I suspect Mingus likely had several of those (such as the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Jimmy Knepper incident), but this one would likely take the prize.

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

Mingus' temper was notoriously bad, and he twice hit Knepper. Once, while onstage at a memorial concert in Philadelphia, Mingus reportedly attempted to crush the hands of his pianist, Toshiko Akiyoshi, with the instrument's keyboard cover, then punched Knepper. Later, Mingus reportedly punched Knepper in the mouth while the two men were working together at Mingus's apartment on a score for Epitaph, in preparation for what became his disastrous concert at New York Town Hall, on October 12, 1962. The blow broke one of Knepper's teeth, ruined his embouchure and resulted in the loss of the top octave of his range on the trombone for almost two years. This attack ended their working relationship and Knepper was unable to perform at the concert. Charged with assault, Mingus appeared in court in January 1963 and was given a suspended sentence. According to his daughter, Robin, Mingus also later mailed heroin to Knepper's home, and made an anonymous phone call to the police. A little girl at the time, she remembers the police questioning her father after the mailman delivered the package.[3] Nevertheless, in the 1970s, the two eventually reconciled thoroughly enough to play together in concert and on at least one of Mingus' last albums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but that's life drama. The concert itself just sounds really bizarre, with copyists onstage preparing parts as the band played, solos being called on the spot, stagehands closing the final curtain while the band was still playing...it sounds like something you would never forget seeing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Yeah, but that's life drama. The concert itself just sounds really bizarre, with copyists onstage preparing parts as the band played, solos being called on the spot, stagehands closing the final curtain while the band was still playing...it sounds like something you would never forget seeing.

:tup

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is arguable that Mingus contributed to Eric Dolphy's death. He wore his musicians out on that 1964 tour of Europe. Johnny Coles was exhausted and unable to play, at one point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

18 minutes ago, Shrdlu said:

It is arguable that Mingus contributed to Eric Dolphy's death. He wore his musicians out on that 1964 tour of Europe. Johnny Coles was exhausted and unable to play, at one point.

This is that point:

Image result for great concert of charles mingus

Edited by felser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other than driving them like hell once they started playing, how did Mingus himself "wear his musicians out" on that tour?

Serious question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Other than driving them like hell once they started playing, how did Mingus himself "wear his musicians out" on that tour?

Serious question.

Seems like they were in a different city every few days, considering the huge amount of live recordings in a very short period of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That wasn't Mingus, that was George Wein.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/4/2019 at 6:42 PM, felser said:

 Nevertheless, in the 1970s, the two eventually reconciled thoroughly enough to play together in concert and on at least one of Mingus' last albums.

Mr. Knepper was playing with Mingus when I caught them at Carnegie Hall in 1976;  I've since come to reflect just how remarkable it was that the trombonist had rejoined Mingus given their past history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, felser said:

Seems like they were in a different city every few days, considering the huge amount of live recordings in a very short period of time.

Has anyone ever looked at a trip/schedule that a band like ICP would take? 

20 cities in 21 days from west coast to east coast, etc. 

plus they were in their 60’s & 70’s. 

Brotzmann did a tour 2 years ago in the US that was similar anywhere from Austin, TX to Montreal to Portland, OR and many places in between - and Brotzmann was 76. He’s touring the US later this month into June and I’m sure the schedule is nuts and he’s now 78. Nobody is dying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's been established that Dolphy died of complications from unrecognized/untreated diabetes. Coles left early in the tour due to a stomach ulcer (iirc?).

Not seeing how any of that falls to/on Mingus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Coles left early in the tour due to a stomach ulcer (iirc?).

From https://mingusmingusmingus.com/sue-mingus/revenge

According to Johnny Coles, a Russian Circus performed in the Salle Wagram just prior to the Mingus Sextet’s engagement, and the stage was still extremely high off the ground. (Coles actually counted 22 steps from the ground floor before the concert.) He says that after playing a solo early in the set he started to feel a severe pain in his sides. When the pain became unbearable he headed across the stage, walked through the curtain and “fell down all those steps. I never even got a dent in my horn when I hit bottom!” The actress Mae Mercer took him first to a French hospital which refused him because, as they said, “he didn’t speak French.” They went on to the American Clinic at Neuilly where he was finally admitted. He stayed in the room Louis Armstrong once occupied and was attended by the same doctor. Three days later when he woke up, the operating physician greeted him. “It’s nice to see you alive,” he said. “If you’d come to the hospital five minutes later I wouldn’t be talking to you.” The tour continued without Johnny Coles, although his trumpet was placed on an empty chair on stage each night, in tribute. Coles can be heard here on the only complete tune he played, “So Long Eric.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so Mingus stole Coles' trumpet, thinking he was dead and he could sell it later on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, king ubu said:

so Mingus stole Coles' trumpet, thinking he was dead and he could sell it later on?

LOL, that's a cold accusation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Accoridng to the linterview with Juanita Smith in the recent CD set of Eric Dolphy's recordings for Douglas, he was showing signs of diabetes prior to leaving on the ill-fated tour of Europe with Charles Mingus in 1964, but nobody recognized them at the time. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And he was essentially mainlining (figure of speech) honey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.