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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Live at Montreux, 1975'
Artist - Charles Mingus

For those not in the know, Charles Mingus was one of the all-time great jazz bass players, but he was also an innovative composer and a leader with a clear vision of where he wanted to go and, in truth, little sympathy for those who couldnít keep up with him.

As a young jobbing bass man in the forties he played with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, and his idol Duke Ellington. In the fifties he pursued a solo career and launched his own record label.

After a brief withdrawal from music in the late sixties he returned, seemingly reinvigorated, in the early seventies playing in a quintet. Unfortunately in 1977 he was diagnosed with a crippling disease, which confined him to a wheelchair up until his death in 1979, but didnít stop him composing.

This just-released new 2CD entitled Live at Montreux, 1975 concert, recorded (of course) at the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 20,1975, primarily features considerably extended versions of tracks from the pair of albums Changes One and Changes Two that were released in 1974 together; with workouts on a couple of old standards Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and Take The ďAĒ Train.

CD: 1
1. Devil Blues
2. Free Cell Block F Tis Nazi U S
3. Sue's Changes

CD: 2
1. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
2. Take The "A" Train

The line-up that night featured Charles Mingus on bass with Don Pullen on piano, Dannie Richmond on drums, George Adams on tenor sax, and Jack Walrath on trumpet. For the track Goodbye Pork Pie Hat they are joined on stage by the great Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax and Benny Bailey on trumpet.

As you would fully expect from the Hall of Fame iconoclastic composer, arranger, pianist, and double bassist Charles Mingus, Live at Montreux, 1975 is an album that you can easily lose yourself deeply within the moment they start playing.

Having listened to these CDs twice through now, back to back, it's as if each of the rousing, heartfelt treatments created there that night slowly, but surely raise their own musical bar as the concert progresses.

Much like as with the propulsive saxophone riffing, at the same time Mingus is urging the musicians to go higher, faster and stronger. I mean, just their rendition of Good Bye Pork Pie Hat alone will grab your soul, believe me.

Charles Mingus @ Facebook!

2CD Purchase Link