Modern Jazz Quartet with Charles Mingus – Live At The Nice Jazz Festival, France – 1972 – ORTF, France –
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The Modern Jazz Quartet along with the legendary Charles Mingus in concert at the 1972 Nice Jazz Festival in 1972 and preserved for posterity by the equally legendary ORTF broadcasting outlet in France.
You might think this pairing of The MJQ with Charles Mingus, almost two different schools of thought, would be strange. No – the exact opposite. True, they were all well-versed musicians who knew and worked with other individually and whose experiences touched on just about every facet. They had also been associated with the Third Stream movement since its inception. Bassist Percy Heath had studied with Mingus early on in his career. But where Mingus took the harder edge, MJQ took the more cerebral one. How that would gel into a cohesive unit was up for speculation. But what resulted was something of a revelation and probably no surprise to many. True, when The MJQ got started, they were dismissed by a number of critics as being too “classical” and too “Bach influenced”, and even Milt Jackson who became a trademark for the MJQ sound wanted the group to head in a more jump-blues direction.
By all appearances, this is the only recorded live collaboration between Mingus and The Modern Jazz Quartet, which is a shame as it gives further evidence of just how big and all-encompassing the tent of Jazz has always been. One of my favorite of the early MJQ albums was their collaboration with Sonny Rollins in 1956, so these “summit meetings” as it were, have been nothing new. Still, makes for great listening.
Perfect for some Sunday listening – hit the play button -relax and enjoy.