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Charles Mingus Talks About Jazz – 1970 – Past Daily Talking Music.

Charles Mingus – One of the greatest American musicians and composers in history.

Charles Mingus – Like It Is – October 4, 1970 – WABC-New York – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Okay – straight up; this interview with Charles Mingus is relatively short. Bookending it are two longer pieces featuring his group in 1970. The music is stellar – the band is a precision instrument – the epitome of the ensemble; where several minds and expressions blend into one. There’s that.

In the middle is an interview with Charles Mingus and it dives into the heart of the matter; an artist and creative force discussing their craft – what Talking Music is all about.

No question in anyone’s mind that Charles Mingus was one of the most legendary and enduring figures in Jazz, and by many accounts, one of its most angry – well, angry but that also goes along with perfectionism – and there was no debate that Charles Mingus was a perfectionist. It’s the accompanying baggage that goes with someone who has a vision. In an odd way (or maybe not that odd when you think about it) the demands that Charles Mingus made on his musicians and the level of virtuosity he expected of them was not that much different than the celebrated and notorious conductors of the early 20th century Symphony Orchestra on the Classical side of music. Same precision, same virtuosity, same demands.

But beyond all that are the words of the man himself – I’m not sure how many interviews Charles Mingus conducted during his lifetime, I suspect not many – I am also not sure if this episode of the local New York program Like It Is has survived. I am often surprised when a long-though lost performance surfaces – and just as often not surprised when I don’t and find out its been destroyed.

In either event, enjoy this rare insight into a legendary and timeless individual.

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