A bubbling live lava stream from Charles Mingus !
Saturday 23rd July 1922, 14:00 – Concertzender Live. In January 1974 bass Charles Mingus played in Carnegie Hall. With different lineups playing two Duke Ellington pieces and several Mingus compositions. Sparks flew, Carnegie Hall trembled. In the ensemble were three powerful wind players, pianist Don Pullen, and Dannie Richmond – the drummer who started playing with Mingus in the 50;s and never left him.
In Peggy’s Blue Skylight we recognise immediately the typical Mingus energy and excitement level. Wind players Hamiet Bluiett (baritone sax) and George Adams (tenor) hit the high notes regularly, far above the ‘normal’ reach of their instruments. For them and for pianist Don Pullen the composition is no restriction, they happily improvise. Trumpeter Jon Faddis shines in extreme heights, a characteristic he shares with his mentor Dizzy Gillespie.
In Celia the characteristic, Mingusian ‘chaos’ is at its peak. Bass and drummer keep things together in this twenty minute long adventure. Tempos change, and behind the soloists there are angry, improvised ensembles which they can’t get enough of.
The more tightly arranged Fables of Faubus runs over 20 minutes as well. This piece is ‘politically’ motivated – a musical protest against the governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus. Faubus tried in 1957 to prevent the integration of African American students into a segregated High School. He sent the National Guard in. This led to the Little Rock Crisis.
Mingus solos, followed by the drummer. Richmond’s long drumsolo is surprisingly nuanced. He magically produces melodic key changes from one of the drum rolls. The dynamic softer passages include near-silences.
A discografic pearl, this ‘Mingus At Carnegie Hall’.
Concertzender Live – a programme by Jaap van de Klomp