Charles Mingus in concert from Paris this weekend. Recorded by Radio France on April 19, 1964.
I ran across this concert a couple of weeks ago via the newly revamped Radio Musique site. It’s part of a series called Legends Of Jazz (Les Legends du Jazz), and if you haven’t heard of it yet, or haven’t taken to exploring all the amazing programs on the Radio France Musique site, by all means, go over there and bookmark it today – right now – don’t wait. It provides further evidence that interesting, engaging, in-depth radio is alive and well and all over the internet and is apparently roaring wildly ahead overseas.
Rather than point you in the direction and tell you about this concert, I thought I would run it for you as a way of whetting your appetite for more – and believe me, there is more.
As a fan of Charles Mingus and as someone who has believed for some time that, not only is Jazz America’s Classical Music, Mingus was its Stravinsky, or at the very least, its Bela Bartok. A visionary in the true sense, not the overworked, randomly-assigned one – but a truly unique figure who saw beyond what was in front of him and went exploring with no compass, but armed with an intrinsic sense of True North. A composer and arranger who, by his own admission sought to make the complicated look easy – and who, like most visionary/forward-thinking composers, was largely misunderstood and avoided by the Mainstream like the plague. Yet, here was a man who looked at things in a different way, sought to cross borders and tried to carry the message of open-mindedness and the beauty of notes.
This concert, which according to the Legends of Jazz folks, and double-checking the Mingus site, has apparently been unissued. It was part of a 19 day tour which afforded Mingus the opportunity to consider a change of locale, in favor of Europe. It also comes two days after trumpeter Johnny Coles collapsed on stage at the Salle Wagram concert in Paris, where he was hospitalized for the remainder of the tour.
It sounds wonderful – warrants repeated playings and is highly satisfying and engaging on a lot of levels.
Hopefully, this will shed a few beams of hopeful light on the new year.