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The Essential Mingus Big Band

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Album Review

A fine "best of" collection drawn from the Mingus Big Band's five-disc output since 1993. The disc captures the flow and live energy of the band's regular Thursday-night gig at Fez Under Time Café in New York. The highlights are many: Ronnie Cuber's baritone sax work on "Moanin'" and his touching narration on "Nostalgia in Times Square"; Kenny Drew, Jr.'s Eastern-tinged piano intro and monster solo on "Boogie Stop Shuffle"; Seamus Blake's tenor showcase on "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"; the list goes on. Much has been written about the ability of this enterprise, under the direction of Sue Mingus, the legendary composer's widow, to transcend the "ghost band" category and capture the true spirit of Charles Mingus. The reports are true, and The Essential Mingus Big Band is an elegant and concise summation of the band's achievements thus far. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi

Customer Reviews

One Of The Best Modern Jazz Ensembles Out There

Love these songs, love this album, love this band. It's the same sprit, soul, and energy that Mingus had, but with better quality audio recording and larger sound.


Formed: 1991

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A major expansion on Mingus Dynasty, beginning in 1991 the Mingus Big Band (which often uses more than 20 musicians) has explored the great bassist's music at least once a week. They played regularly at the Time Spot Café in New York and their series of recordings for Dreyfus are often remarkable. The huge group performs some of Mingus' most complex works with spirit, virtuosity, and plenty of color. Such musicians as Randy Brecker, Ryan Kisor, Lew Soloff, Jack Walrath, Philip Harper, Art Baron,...
Full Bio
The Essential Mingus Big Band, Mingus Big Band
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jul 10, 2001

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