2010 CD release.
On New Year's Eve, 2008/2009, the Mingus Big Band celebrated some of Charles Mingus' best-known tunes from exactly fifty years before, released in 1959 during one of the most productive and creative periods in jazz. On stage at Jazz Standard in New York City, NPR-WBGO broadcast the event across the country in their annual "Toast of the Nation." At midnight the band broke into John Stubblefield's explosive arrangement of "Song with Orange," bringing the evening's performance to a close and the audience to it's feet.
Just as 1939 was a year of iconic films that included movies as diverse as Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, twenty years later a series of classic jazz albums appeared that showcased works by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman and three seminal recordings by Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um, Mingus Dynasty and Blues & Roots. Tunes like "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," "Better Get Hit in Your Soul" and "Moanin'" entered the American lexicon. Today, the Mingus Big Band, one of three repertory bands carrying on the sprawling legacy of Mingus composition, continues it's weekly presence in Manhattan which began in 1991 and continues in it's current residency at Jazz Standard.
Since October 2008, Mingus Mondays has been a fixture on the New York scene. This first recorded collaboration between Mingus music and Jazz Standard preserves what Michael Bourne, Master of Ceremonies that evening, hailed as one of the best he had hosted in twenty-two years of NPR New Year's Eve broadcasts: "every tune a classic, every player a master, every tune sounding new, every player keeping the spirit of Charles Mingus alive and swinging!" The Mingus Big Band's concert before a sold-out crowd showcased the wide variety of Mingus repertory and featured dance tunes, gospel hollers, church music, lush ballads and, of course, the blues.
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