I Am Three

SSC3029 2005-06-07

Track List

Song With orange - 11:48
MDM - 05:15
Chill Of Death - 03:46
Paris In Blue - 03:46
Tensions - 07:52
Orange Is The Color Of Her Dres - 10:50
Cell Block F 'Tis Nazi USA - 05:51
Todo Modo - 12:36
Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting - 05:21
Pedal Point Blues - 09:04


bass - Boris Kozlov
bassoon - Michael Rabinowitz
clarinet - Douglas Yates(bass)
drums- Johnathan Blake - Donald Edwards
french horn - Bobby Routch
guitar - Jack Wilkins
piano - George Colligan, John HicksOrrin, Evans
sax - Seamus Blake, Abraham Burton, Wayne Escoffery (tenor), Alex Foster, Craig Handy, Jaleel Shaw, Miguel Zenon (alto),Ronnie Cuber,Scott Robinson (baritone)
trumpet - Jeremy Pelt, Kenny Rampton, Jack Walrath, Walter White, Randy Brecker
trombone - Conrad Herwig Earl McIntyre Ku-umba Frank Lacy
tuba - Earl McIntyre

GRAMMY Award Nominee - 2006- Jazz Large Ensemble
GRAMMY Award Nominee - 2006- Jazz Large Ensemble

“In other words, I am three,” begins Charles Mingus's autobiography, referring to his different incarnations — the vulnerable man, the angry and passionate man, the observer.
For the first time, all arrangements for the Mingus Big Band and the Mingus Dynasty were created by performing musicians within the bands: bassist Boris Kozlov, trombonist Earl McIntyre, trombonist Robin Eubanks and saxophonist John Stubblefield. The two Mingus Orchestra arrangements are by Sy Johnson.

Most notably — for the first time after a dozen years of performing in the Mingus Big Band — John Stubblefield contributed three stunning arrangements, causing us to regret the years we weren't aware of the treasure within our midst. Although John was in the hospital during the recording of this CD and unable to perform on his saxophone, he arrived in his Batmobile — as he calls his wheelchair — to conduct his three arrangements. It was an extraordinary autumn afternoon at Peter Karl's studio in Brooklyn. Music director Alex Foster describes it as one of the most moving, enlightening recording experiences of his life. John Stubblefield talked down all three pieces, gave an overview of Mingus's intentions as he himself understood and interpreted them, and inspired a roomful of musicians to play their hearts out for the next six hours.

Song With Orange was written for a l959 television drama in which, according to Mingus, a rich girl taunts her poet/piano-playing boyfriend by challenging him to write something with “orange” in the title, knowing that nothing in the world rhymes with orange.
The second part of the recording was made at Kaleidoscope Sound Studios in New Jersey, a month later. Paris in Blue, a little innocent tune recorded in l952, mourned the break-up of Mingus's first marriage. It was sung by Jackie Paris (providing the title) who would later sing the lyrics to Duke Ellington's.
Cell Block F 'Tis Nazi USA refers to a particular cell block in the deep South in the Seventies, but it could just as easily apply to cell blocks in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib today. Occasionally, Mingus attached political titles to compositions after writing them, in order to call attention to a particular event — as in Remember Rockefeller At Attica — although the music itself was not programmatic.
Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, with its fast 6/4 time signature, planned chaos and hand-clapping backgrounds is one of Mingus's best known gospel pieces and a frequent closer of Mingus Big Band sets.
During his last six months in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Mingus listened to Todo Modo almost daily from his wheelchair in the sun. It may represent a musical future he was considering.
Excerps from Sue Mingus' liner notes.


"This is an In-your-face resurrection and updating of Charlie Mingus' repertory book...It's a swinging tour de force"

The best Mingus on record is still Mingus, but after nearly 15 years and eight albums, the Mingus Big Band and its various permutations has become, in its own way, definitive. Under the close supervision of Sue Mingus, it has mixed new and longstanding arrangements to create a kind of standard edition of the master's work. Most importantly, that Mingus fire is pervasive.
John Garelik, Jazziz

The authenticity of Mingus' music shepherded so carefully by Sue Mingus within the varied contexts creates a CD of Mingus' elegant musical profile.
Journal of Jazz Educators, March 2006
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The big band comes with a big sound that embodies the memory of Mingus at his peak: big as life and filled with dynamic energy. Soloists such as Ronnie Cuber, Randy Brecker and Frank Lacy raise the roof with their passion. Does that attitude come from the individual band members, or does it come from the composer? I think it works both ways. Fortunately, that spirit also rubs off on the listener, who's in for a memorable treat.
Jim Santella , Jazziz, February 2006
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