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Mingus - The Lost Album From Ronnie Scott's

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RESONANCE RECORDS WILL PROUDLY RELEASE CHARLES MINGUS’
THE LOST ALBUM FROM RONNIE SCOTT’S AS A THREE-LP
RECORD STORE DAY EXCLUSIVE ON APRIL 23rd
IN CELEBRATION OF MINGUS’ CENTENNIAL

Blistering Live London Date by the Bassist-Composer’s 1972 Sextet, Originally Intended to be an Official Album Release, Will Be Issued as a Three-CD Set and Digitally on April 30th

Deluxe Booklet Will Feature Interviews with Mingus, Alto Saxophonist Charles McPherson, and
Writer Fran Lebowitz, An Overview by Jazz Historian Brian Priestley, Appreciations by
Bassists Christian McBride, Eddie Gomez, and More!

Charles Mingus - Lost Album From Ronnie Scotts

Los Angeles — Resonance Records, the top U.S. independent label for previously unreleased jazz treasures, will issue The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott’s, a volcanic, never-before-heard 1972 club performance by bassist-composer Charles Mingus’ powerful sextet, as a three-LP Record Store Day offering on April 23 (one day after what would have been Mingus’ 100th birthday). The album will be issued as a three-CD set and digital download on April 30.

The live set, comprising nearly two-and-a-half hours of music, was professionally recorded on eight-track tapes via a mobile recording truck on Aug. 14-15, 1972. However, the performance went unreleased, for Mingus – along with every other top jazz musician on the Columbia roster except for Miles Davis – was dropped by the label in the spring of 1973. The present release is completely authorized by Jazz Workshop, Inc., which controls Mingus’ music.

Resonance co-president Zev Feldman, who co-produced the Scott’s material for release with David Weiss, says, “This is a lost chapter in Mingus’s history, originally intended to be an official album release by Mingus that never materialized. Now, we’re thrilled to be able to bring this recording to light for the whole world to hear in all its musical and sonic glory. It’s especially exciting to be celebrating Mingus with this release in his centennial year.”

A statement in the Resonance collection from Jazz Workshop, Inc. says, “In Sue Mingus’s memoir, Tonight at Noon, she recalls receiving the extraordinary tapes [the band] had recorded; the reels remained in the Mingus vault, untouched until now. It is our honor, forty-nine years later, to present, with Resonance Records, this historic performance.”

Charles Mingus Live at Ronnie Scott'sIn his knowledgeable overview of Mingus’s activities of the early ‘70s and his stand at Scott’s club, British jazz critic and historian Brian Priestley, who penned an authoritative 1983 biography of the musician, writes, “The magnificent music contained herein comes from a special period in the life of Charles Mingus, one in which he re-emerged from the depths of depression and inactivity, to be ultimately greeted with far wider acclaim than he had ever previously experienced.”

By the time Mingus’ band took the stage at saxophonist Scott’s celebrated London club, the great jazz man was experiencing a career renaissance: he had received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and seen his music adapted for choreographer Alvin Ailey’s The Mingus Dances in 1971, while 1972 saw the release of his potent autobiography Beneath the Underdog and his widely acclaimed big band album Let My Children Hear Music.

Though his group still featured the formidable saxophonists Bobby Jones (tenor) and Charles McPherson (alto), the sextet was in a state of flux, but the new members delivered on stage. Pianist Jaki Byard was succeeded by the relatively unknown John Foster, who showed off both his keyboard and vocal chops at Scott’s. Longtime drummer Danny Richmond, who had joined the pop band Mark-Almond, was replaced by the ingenious, powerful Detroit musician Roy Brooks, who demonstrated his invention the “breath-a-tone,” which allowed him to control the pitch of his kit while playing, and, on a couple of numbers, his abilities on the musical saw. The trumpet chair was filled by the phenomenal 19-year old Jon Faddis, a protégé and acolyte of Dizzy Gillespie.

The Lost Album features nine performances captured during the two-night engagement; some of them – the then-new compositions “Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Silk Blues” and “Mind-readers’ Convention in Milano” and the war horse “Fables of Faubus” – are epics that stretch close to or past the half-hour mark. In its entirety, the set bears comparison to Mingus’ storied concerts at Monterey, Carnegie Hall, and Antibes.

During the English engagement, which came at the end of a European tour, Priestley conducted a joint interview with Mingus and McPherson at the club. He found the bassist in a philosophical mood: “Life has many changes. Tomorrow it may rain. And it’s supposed to be sunshine because it’s summertime, but God’s got a funny soul. He plays like Charlie Parker. He may run some thunder on you. He may take the sun up and put it in the nighttime, the way it looks to me.”

In a new interview with Feldman, McPherson deftly characterizes his longtime employer’s musical approach: “[Mingus] liked for his music to be clean enough for it to be obvious that this is worked out and thought out, but not so pristine that it sounded robotic or unanimated or not human — too processed. I think ‘organized chaos’ is an apt term because that’s the way Mingus’s music really did sound; it did have almost this free-wheeling kind of a vibe and yet, you can tell it’s written out, it’s thought about, and it has all the elements of organization, but still, it has the elements of spontaneity.”

A pair of jazz’s most celebrated bassists offer their appreciation for Mingus in interviews conducted by Feldman. Christian McBride says, “Mingus just has such an individual sound, such a presence. He had some real estate that no one else had. I love how Mingus’s music is this very blurry balance of blues, swing and the avant-garde….He did it in a way that no one else did.” Eddie Gomez notes, “He was this big influence in a big forest, so I assumed that he got a lot of recognition. Maybe he should have gotten more. He’s still one of the great influences in jazz music.”

The full measure of the jazz artist’s larger-than-life personality is captured in reminiscences by Sue Graham Mingus (in an excerpt from her 2002 book Tonight at Noon: A Love Story) and Mary Scott (in a new interview with Feldman) of the bandleader and the club owner who were their respective spouses.

A rich and very funny recollection of the mercurial titan is offered in Feldman’s interview with New York writer, raconteur, and woman-about-town Fran Lebowitz, who knew both the Minguses well. She recalls one encounter in which an angry Mingus chased her out of the Village Vanguard and through Lower Manhattan.

She says, “We went down Seventh Avenue really far; my recollection is to Canal Street. We ran to Canal Street and I couldn’t run anymore. I was like 21 years old. I don’t know how old Charles was. He was probably in his late forties at least and he was not exactly in Olympic condition. Neither was I, but compared to Charles I was. I just fell on the ground. I couldn’t run anymore. And then when he reached me, he fell on the ground and he’s panting. And then he just looked at me and said, ‘You want to go eat?’ because I guess he realized we were near Chinatown where he was the star eater of all time.”

“Music is my life. Without it I’d be dead. All I need is score paper and a piano.” — Charles Mingus, from an interview in London, 1972

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Being discussed here:  

 

 

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It arrived yesterday and I’m looking forward to hearing it this weekend.

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Must have this one! Thanks for the info :)

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For those of you interested... the Itunes store has it on preorder for a ridiculous $10.99.... Normally I'd like physical discs and the liner notes, but this is a can't miss price for me.

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On 3/25/2022 at 4:59 AM, Ken Dryden said:

It arrived yesterday and I’m looking forward to hearing it this weekend.

If release date is April 23, how did it "arrive yesterday"?

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Reviewers often get advance copies.

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4 hours ago, hbbfam said:

If release date is April 23, how did it "arrive yesterday"?

I have been a jazz journalist since 1988, so some releases arrive weeks or sometimes months before the official release date.

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Did you ever cross baths with a guy named Bruce Tater?

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4 hours ago, Ken Dryden said:

I have been a jazz journalist since 1988, so some releases arrive weeks or sometimes months before the official release date.

At the risk of asking a question that is probably well-known on this forum, and with no disrespect, where do you write?  I did presume you had an advanced copy.

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No disrespect taken. I don't expect to be known as well as those who have authored numerous jazz books and/or contributed to all of the major glossy jazz magazines, etc.

Currently I contribute to The New York City Jazz Record, All About Jazz and Hot House (the latter features and spotlights only). 

Previously I wrote for Allmusic.com, Coda, Jazz Review, Cadence and other publications and websites. 

I have also written several dozen liner notes.

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Was this a full time gig for you?

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Writing was never a full time gig, though I made some pretty good money on the side for a few years with Allmusic.com. During weeks when I has sufficient assignments and time, I could gross up to $700/week. I also had one batch of liner note biographies for a European label that proved very profitable over several months. Unfortunately, after AMG was sold a couple of times, assignments started slipping and many free lancers were dropped. I was in the very last batch of freelancers still working for them when they dropped all of us just before Christmas in 2012.

Scott Yanow has an accounting background but took time off to write full time at least once or twice in his career, though I don't know what his status is these days. I get the idea that only the writers who get steady work writing liner notes and press bios can make a living doing it, as review pay alone is not enough to pay the bills. 

Since I retired from my pubic radio job in 2015, any writing income is welcome, as it helps me deduct part of my Medicare costs, but I don't feel pushed to try to match the volume of writing that I did in the ealry 2000s, when my wife claimed that I practically lived in our basement listening to music and typing away on the computer.

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Allmusic still has at least some of your reviews up. But you only got paid once.

Ah, the life of a freelancer.

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I knew going in that I would only get paid once, though some reviews made it into the Jazz volumes 3 & 4 and maybe a few of the rock and blues made it to print as well, I would have to check. Not to mention the number of times I've seen them posted on other websites that licensed them.

I ran across one review that had evidently been translated into Portugese, then back into English that wasn't close to what I had written.

It was an interesting outlet, though the randomness of what they would or wouldn't assign for review made little sense. 

Ignore the star ratings, as at least one editor decided to lower them, in spite of a glowing review. On a 1 to 5 scale, 3 means that the release is either average or has some issues. I told that editor at that point that I didn't bother pitching reviews of mediocre CDs. 

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Available on HDtracks today.  Anyone listen to this one yet?

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On 4/1/2022 at 11:50 AM, Ken Dryden said:

I knew going in that I would only get paid once, though some reviews made it into the Jazz volumes 3 & 4 and maybe a few of the rock and blues made it to print as well, I would have to check. Not to mention the number of times I've seen them posted on other websites that licensed them.

I ran across one review that had evidently been translated into Portugese, then back into English that wasn't close to what I had written.

It was an interesting outlet, though the randomness of what they would or wouldn't assign for review made little sense. 

Ignore the star ratings, as at least one editor decided to lower them, in spite of a glowing review. On a 1 to 5 scale, 3 means that the release is either average or has some issues. I told that editor at that point that I didn't bother pitching reviews of mediocre CDs. 

You mentioned this (bolded) once before. Cleared up a big mystery. I'd been curious about the many Allmusic reviews with three stars but glowing laudatory text. :D

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3 hours ago, T.D. said:

You mentioned this (bolded) once before. Cleared up a big mystery. I'd been curious about the many Allmusic reviews with three stars but glowing laudatory text. :D

I learned of this after a well known artist whom I had interviewed several times asked me about it. I raised hell with the editor about it. The reply of "You give too many 4-4.5 star reviews" caused me to respond that I didn't pitch many mediocre albums for review at that point in my writing career, i was getting serviced with a lot of excellent CDs. In my view, 3 stars out of 5 is either average or has some issues. 

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Picked this one up on the 3LP set RSD release today. Excellent sonics and great live club atmosphere. Very interesting band lineup too. Recommended !

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My CD preorder is in, can't be doing with RSD

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

My CD preorder is in, can't be doing with RSD

Yeah, it’s sad that a release of this importance isn’t given a better vinyl quantity. The numbering on mine mentions first pressing though so hopefully there will be a second press. Apparently this RSD release was 5000 worldwide, 500 allocated to the UK.

Crazy saw soloing on the set by Roy Brooks - well received by the Scotts audience !

Edited by sidewinder

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I am thoroughly enjoying the HDtracks download which I have had for a few days.

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I am very curious about this as post-'60s Mingus has never felt right to me, never had the visceral effect of the earlier bands. Plus George Adams, who is thankfully not on this, annoys the hell out of me.

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Posted (edited)

I played the whole set yesterday. It is a very good performance, well recorded in front of a sympathetic room and with what sounds like a good atmosphere. I believe it was recorded on the last night of the Scott residency, so the band was well ‘played in’. Charles McPherson is predictably good, although I really like the spirited playing of the young John Faddis, on what must have been his first appearance in the UK. The sound was recorded on 8 track I think by the Pye Mobile Vehicle crew who used to support UK CBS in that era. Bernie Grundman has mastered the LP set I believe and has done a great job.

Comprehensive sleeve notes as per usual, including a nice essay by Brian Priestley, who was present at earlier nights I believe.

Edited by sidewinder

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I ordered the CD directly from Resonance but haven't got it yet, has anyone else?

never mind, got it today!

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