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Jazz Icons: Charles Mingus Live in '64
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Jazz Icons represents the new millennium's most welcome shot in the arm for the music's soul -- Newsday.com, October 14, 2007, Gene Seymour
The iconoclast among icons. This DVD gives witness to three of Mingus's finest live performances, with one of his most potent groups on fire. -- Bass Player Magazine, November 2007
Top Customer Reviews
This group was arguably Mingus's best line-up ever, and the tour was easily one of the high-points in the great bassist's long and productive career. It's a real pleasure to watch this charismatic leader play and interact with his fellow musicians; he was clearly having fun and receiving satisfaction from what this remarkable band was producing. There's plenty of footage of the great Eric Dolphy--much more than on the John Coltrane Jazz Icons DVD. Clifford Jordan, Johnny Coles, Jaki Byard, and Dannie Richmond all play well and are fun to watch. One thing that seems especially notable about this group (besides the collection of talent) is that everyone has a somewhat different style, yet the conglomeration results in some of the most interesting (and complex) jazz music every created by a small group.
Although one might wish for a greater variety of compositions (there are a total of 6), the DVD apparently does include most of the songs the group was playing on this tour. There are 4 different versions of "So Long Eric" and 3 of "Meditations on Integration," but these are performed quite differently and it's interesting to hear the varied arrangements and improvising from venue to venue. In summary: Exhilarating !
Jaki Byard sounds amazing on the recordings also. His knowledge of all types of music seeps into his improvisations. One minute he's evoking Jelly Roll Morton and the next Tchaikovsky and Alban Berg, and Asian flavors blossom, too. Clifford Jordan is an understated player, and he's technically precise with a nice tone quality. His way of working fit perfectly with Mingus' overwhelming and fiery personality. Richmond, an ebullient drummer with an obvious love for playing with this group of musicians follows Mingus well and changes the tempi with precision in Meditations. Coles' trumpet playing is also undertstated, yet beautifully expressive. It's clear Miles Davis had a strong influence on his playing with the bending of notes and lovely tone quality.
Eric Dolpy and Mingus are the stars, however. Dolphy blows my mind with his virtuosity on three instruments. His flute playing is lovely and nuanced and when he grabs the bass clarinet another side of him comes to the fore. Pyrotechnics is the word that comes to mind. His alto saxophone playing is equally mind-numbing.
Mingus put together one of the best groups of musicians ever and composed music perfectly suited to their talents.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jazz Icons is a collection with excelent music and good quality videos considering when were the recordings madePublished 4 months ago by Luis E. Castaneda
For Mingus fans this DVD is a treat. For one thing it clocks in at two hours, and another the sound quality is simply superb. Read morePublished on December 18, 2013 by Mike Tarrani
This was bought as part of a collection I am assembling as a gift for a family member. Outstanding collections can be found on Amazon - which really surprised me. Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by Heidelberg Amer HS '70s
There cant be much more Mingus video this early & this good of quality. If u love one of the most unique & important artists in recording history..... Get this.Published on September 28, 2012 by One KING
I'm more of a Coltrane, Miles, Monk fan, but I knew Mingus was a legend, so I rented this knowing nothing
about his 1964 band. Read more
I got the Mingus for myself and ordered the Monk [ASIN:B000H9HWSC Jazz Icons: Thelonious Monk Live in '66]]for my brother, a life long jazz musician. Read morePublished on October 9, 2011 by D. E. Camp
2 hours of video of Mingus w/ Dolphy - need I say more? High quality b&w visuals. Sound lacked punch and good, deep bass, but I'm sure it's because I don't have a home theater... Read morePublished on January 20, 2011 by Terry R. Hall
Charles Mingus believed that jazz had lost something essential in the interplay between soloist and ensemble after the development of bebop, so his sextet work was focused on... Read morePublished on July 9, 2010 by Andromeda