Charles Mingus - a major proponent of collective improvisation.

Charles Mingus Quintet – Live At Chateauvallon – 1976 – Past Daily Downbeat

Charles Mingus – a major proponent of collective improvisation.

Charles Mingus Quintet – Live At Chateauvallon, France – August 17, 1976 – Radio France –

The music of Charles Mingus this weekend – with Jack Walrath, trumpet – Ricky Ford, tenor sax – Danny Mixon, piano – Dannie Richmond, drums and the Man Himself on double Bass. All recorded and preserved by Radio France at Chateauvallon on August 17, 1976.

Wikipedia writes:

Charles Mingus is considered to be one of the greatest jazz musicians and composers in history, with a career spanning three decades and collaborations with other jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Herbie Hancock.

His compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop, drawing heavily from black gospel music and blues, while sometimes containing elements of Third Stream, free jazz, and classical music. He once cited Duke Ellington and church as his main influences.

Charles Mingus espoused collective improvisation, similar to the old New Orleans jazz parades, paying particular attention to how each band member interacted with the group as a whole. In creating his bands, he looked not only at the skills of the available musicians, but also their personalities. Many musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. He recruited talented and sometimes little-known artists, whom he utilized to assemble unconventional instrumental configurations. As a performer, Mingus was a pioneer in double bass technique, widely recognized as one of the instrument’s most proficient players.

Because of his brilliant writing for midsize ensembles, and his catering to and emphasizing the strengths of the musicians in his groups, Mingus is often considered the heir of Duke Ellington, for whom he expressed great admiration and collaborated on the record Money Jungle. Dizzy Gillespie had once said Charles Mingus reminded him “of a young Duke”, citing their shared “organizational genius”.

Sit back, relax and press Play.

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