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Charles Mingus at the Jazz Workshop "Right Now"

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This album is also from 1964, but after the tour with Dolphy and Byard. 

Only Cliff Jordan and Dannie Richmond left, but with an only 16 year old female pianist Jane Getz.

You might miss Dolphy, but I want to say that Clifford Jordan is extremely strong on this, and the band of only 4 members is very very strong, Danny Richmond is such a fantastic drummer and I like it to hear him much. Mingus on bass maybe was one of the very best bass players of his time, it´s incredible how strong is his sound and his solos, really telling something, not just doing exercices as some bass players do when soloing.

On "Fables of Faubus", here titled "New Fables" those different moods, at one point some really spanish sounding stuff, very similar to "Ysabel´s Table Dance" from "Tijuana Moods", only much more impressive and powerful.

During the end John Handy sit´s in and does a very fine slow blues in F, and somehow his sound reminds me of Jackie McLean.

On "Meditations" we can hear Jane Getz soloing. Maybe she can not be compared with Jakie Byard, but it´s incredible, how easy she adapts to all the tempo and key changes. And very good technical. She must have been a child wonder, if she could play like that, only being 16 years old. But I also wonder how she was allowed to play at night clubs being underage, with such a difficult personality like Mingus. But Mingus really gives her much support and they sound great together. 

So, maybe not Mingus´ most important album, but nevertheless a very interesting one. 

Download (6).jpg

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Great version of Fables on that LP.

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One of his very best records. He definitely played the best bass of his life in 64/65, especially after the Europe tour if you ask me. 

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Love the record, love the cover photo even more!

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This record has an excellent companion in Roach's Speak Brother, Speak-- another Jazz Workshop session from two years earlier, also a lean quartet with Clifford Jordan, also two long tracks, also with the whole band playing at their peak. 

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That Max record is an all-time great, imo. No matter how much I love Members Don't Get Weary, I love Speak Brother, Speak even more. The records have come to blows on the shelf about this, neither one yields gracefully. But Clifford/Mal/Eddie FTW every time, although it's a battle of heavyweight champions, make no mistake.

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17 minutes ago, JSngry said:

That Max record is an all-time great, imo. No matter how much I love Members Don't Get Weary, I love Speak Brother, Speak even more. The records have come to blows on the shelf about this, neither one yields gracefully. But Clifford/Mal/Eddie FTW every time, although it's a battle of heavyweight champions, make no mistake.

and in the other corner, weighing in at five tons, Max/Jymie Merritt/Charles Tolliver/Gary Bartz/Stanley Cowell.  Wouldn't want to be without either record.  "Speak, Brother, Speak", to me, is where Clifford Jordan really found his voice, becoming Clifford Jordan rather than just another good tenor player.   I agree Jane Getz sounds good on that Mingus album.  I have her birthday as September 12, 1942, so she was 21.  My understanding is that Mingus treated her terribly, and whatever the case, Byard was soon back in the piano chair, with Getz basically heading into studio work (with some pretty big names).

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I have Jane Getz' autobiography/memoirs/whatever, and have skimmed them once, a while back. I don't recall her mentioning Mingus one way or the other? She comes off as rather, uh...self-possesed. And perhaps with good reason, know your value, etc. But she really does not give that much time to her "jazz years" except as something she did before she went on to other things.

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52 minutes ago, felser said:

and in the other corner, weighing in at five tons...

R-3414594-1329502625.jpeg.jpg

R-8515672-1478002482-1592.jpeg.jpg

 

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I must be in the minority - not crazy about this one relative to either the 1964 Dolphy recordings or the 1964 Monterey performance.  Handy’s playing is my favorite part.

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I wonder if additional recordings of this appearance of Mingus at the Jazz Workshop still exist?

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It was a Debut production, so....

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So that means the tapes are in Sue's closet?

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It means they could be, yes.

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Posted (edited)

I stumbled across the website below of a musician named Henry Robinett, who if you scroll down a bit, has some interesting reminiscences of spending time with Mingus towards the end of his life.

Bio - Henry Robinett

The only discouraging thing for me during this period was listening to the gorgeous music Charles had written for her, which he called Joni 1, 2, 3, etc. He’d have various pianists come by and play this written music, which was thoroughly notated.  This alone was amazing enough as he had a pretty well advanced form of Lou Gehrigs Disease, or ALS. He no longer had the use of his limbs, so he had to dictate the music, which he’d do by calling out the notes to a transcriber, mainly Paul Jeffrey, but sometimes also Sy Johnson or his long time trombonist Jimmy Knepper. I suspect I was being groomed for that task. Then he’d have Armen Donelian, or on one occasion, Phineas Newborn Jr, play through them. And I had already considered Phineas was one of the greatest pianist of all time. What a thrill to sit there, just a few feet away from Phineas as he played songs and talked to MIngus about the old days! This was a very heady time for me, indeed. But the music Charles wrote for Joni was so achingly beautiful, as it was played on solo piano. By the time Herbie and Jaco and Erskine and Wayne Shorter got to it, the music had been so transformed, it was barely recognizable. I was just bitterly disappointed. Nothing against those brilliant musicians, heroes of mine all, or Joni. Somewhere I understand there’s an alternative recording with people Mingus wanted to have play. I can only hope it’s released someday, but I doubt it. 

Edited by kh1958

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14 hours ago, colinmce said:

This record has an excellent companion in Roach's Speak Brother, Speak-- another Jazz Workshop session from two years earlier, also a lean quartet with Clifford Jordan, also two long tracks, also with the whole band playing at their peak. 

Yes, agreed. Really, when writing my review I also had "Speak Brother Speak" in my mind, and I love it an Cliff´s playing is similar strong like on that Mingus at Workshop.

Actually I bought both LP´s about the same time in 1978. They were very easy to purchase here in Europe, as reissiues on the french America Label. And I bought Speak Brother Speak after I heard Roach at the beginning of september 1978. Anyway, it was the only album of Roach under his own name, that was in the record store then, because it was from the in general availaible "America" label, from which they had all albums, much stuff from the original Debut label.

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Somewhere out there are also the original, carefully notated songs. I assume the Mingus organization has these. Have they ever been played live by the Mingus ensembles?

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Is the first sax solo on Fables Handy or Jordan? 

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Clifford Jordan solos first.

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19 hours ago, kh1958 said:

Clifford Jordan solos first.

Sure. Anyway, he can be easily identified by his sound and aproach, and John Handy also. 

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On a related subject, this  colour film of Mingus rehearsing in Sweden, with Dolphy, Jordan, Coles and Byard is stunning. Sad dialogue about 5 mins in between Mingus and Dolphy  about how long he was planning to stay in Europe. Only seen this recently, not sure if it has been around before.

Anthony 

London

Pardon my ignorance but was this grouping recorded officially at all, Coles sounds beautiful, Jordan is powerful and Mingus so strong. 

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whoa

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Wow!  That is an incredible film!

...and Jaki playing all that piano in the beginning with a lit cigarette between his fingers. :D

 

 

 

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