Live in Tokyo at the Blue Note

SSC3042 2006-09-26

Track List

Wham Bam - 6:39
Opus Four - 9:21
Celia - 7:01
Bird Calls - 6:42
Meditations - 10:27
Prayer For Passive Resistance - 6:10
Free Cell Block F - 7:15
Ecclusiastics - 10:33


Eddie Henderson - trumpet
Jack Walrath - trumpet
Alex Sipiagin - trumpet
Abraham Burton - alto saxophone
Craig Handy - alto saxophone, flute
Wayne Escoffery - tenor saxophone
Seamus Blake - tenor saxophone
Ronnie Cuber - baritone saxophone
Frank Lacy - trombone, vocal ku-umba
Conrad Herwig - trombone
Earl McIntyre - bass trombone, tuba
Dave Kikoski - piano
Kenny Davis - bass
Johnathan Blake - drums

Thirty years ago, in late December, 1976, Charles Mingus performed a series of concerts in Tokyo with his quintet. In 2005, also in December, another Mingus band rounded out a week at Tokyo’s famous Blue Note Club with a live recording on New Year’s Eve. Trumpet player Jack Walrath was on hand for both events, linking past and present. The original tour included Walrath, Charles Mingus, Dannie Richmond, Danny Mixon and Ricky Ford. The current 14-piece ensemble, the Mingus Big Band, is the legacy group that carries Mingus’s voice into the future. For the past fifteen years it has kept Mingus’s music passionately alive in a weekly residency in Manhattan and in clubs and concert halls across the world.
Back in the Seventies, Charles Mingus was playing the compositions he had just written: “Sue’s Changes,” “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love,” “Remember Rockefeller at Attica,” “Noddin’ Ya Head Blues.” The Mingus Big Band went further back, to the Fifties, for four
Mingus compositions arranged by current band members.
Kiichi Goto a music professor, a synthesizer expert who lived under the tutelage of Moog, a man of boundless generosity, was the artist who oversaw two nights of recording, insisting on bringing his own state-of-the-art equipment. Engineer Tom Swift took over in New York, mixed and mastered the material as he has done on the band’s last six recordings. “I want
it to project the vitality of that evening,” he said. “I want it to feel like you’re there at a table — like you have to pay the two-drink minimum!”
Charles Mingus passed on in 1979. His enormous legacy of composition, with its shouts and clamors, its melodies and yearnings, continues to walk the earth through the vitality of these musicians and their uniquely personal translations of his music.


Two Impressive Souvenirs
All About Jazz, October 2006
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All of the characteristics of Mingus music can be heard on the album which captures the band at its best. It all makes the music bristle with a palpable exceitement.
George Kanzler, all.about.jazz - November 2006
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It has long been known that the Mingus big Band is probably the most exciting live jazz orchestra extant.
Jeff Simon, THE BUFFALO NEWS - November 2006
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On Live in Tokyo the current version of the working Mingus Big Band shows that it's perhaps the strongest and truest to form repertory band out there.
John Ephland, DOWNBEAT - December 2006
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A raucous run through the great composer's songbook during a New Year's eve concert.
Jim Harrginton , The Oakland Tribune - November 2006
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More Reviews from all over the country - December 2006
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