You, me, the music, and me.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CHARLES MINGUS Orange Was the Colour of Her Dress

Salt Peanuts 44613 (2007)

For my first DVD review, here's a disc from Salt Peanuts' new line of jazz DVD's. Averaging about 50 minutes each (about the length of a CD), these discs are an affordable way (mine cost about $10 each) to enjoy little-seen performances by jazz legends such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Bill Evans on video. The sound and picture quality are above average for footage taken largely in the fifties and sixties for European television.

The Mingus DVD contains four songs recorded in Norway, Sweden, and France in the early 1960's. Mingus' sextet for these dates included such notable musicians as Eric Dolphy, Clifford Jordan, Booker Ervin, and Bud Powell. It's a real treat to see and hear this band in complete performances of tunes such as "Meditations", "Orange Was the Colour of Her Dress, then Blue Silk", and "I'll Remember April" (featuring some stunning pianistics from the late, lamented Powell). Marginalized by both race and genre, Mingus has never received his due as not only one of the finest jazz composers of the twentieth century, but as one of its finest composers period. The fire and imagination found in these small-band arrangements certainly do nothing to refute this statement.


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