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  • Complete 1961-62 Birdland Broadcasts (3CD) Deluxe
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Complete 1961-62 Birdland Broadcasts (3CD) Deluxe Box set, Original recording remastered

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Nov. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rare Live Recordings
  • ASIN: B004785J9S
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,894 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Wright on 3 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is a unique Mingus release.

The sound quality is like you're listening to it on the radio in 1962- which is good!

If you were being ultra-critical of the music on this 3-cd collection, you'd say some of it is repetitive, one or two weak tracks... however, if you were to select the best and squeeze them on to 1 disc then this would be in the top few Mingus albums for the follwing reasons:

- wonderful version(s) of Monk, Funk and Vice-Versa
- fantastic track based on "I Can't Get Started"
- A wonderful version of "Please Don't Come Back From the Moon"
- Lots of fun listening to "Eat That Chicken" half a dozen times
- Roland Kirk!
- a tuba!
- an unknown track sometimes listed as "Blue Cee" though actually a track I've never heard anywhere else

You've probably never heard the music on this CD before- If you love Mingus, you'll love it. If you're interested in 50s - 60s jazz, it's a great document at the very least.

Despite a few weaknesses, I have to give it five stars as I couldn't be without it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul G. on 11 Mar. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I have had these recordings on tape and then bootleg cds for years now and they never lose their appeal. This is marvellous music with all Mingus's greatness and bluster. Anyone who doesn't have these sides should get them while they can. There are no new tracks here, although 'Nouroog' 'Ecclusiastics' and 'Hog Callin' Blues' are listed as 'On CD for the 1st time' they are on all available bootlegs. The sad thing is that no major companies have ever issued this music and it's been left to enthusiasts so to do. Althought previous issues are claimed to have 'inferior sound quality' there is nothing any better here and some of the introductions by Symphony Sid and Mingus are missing. So if you have this fantastic music already, there's no need to invest in this set. If you haven't, BUY IT NOW. The artwork and booklet are very useful.
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Format: Audio CD
This fascinating 3-hour, 3-CD set features the great bassist/composer Charles Mingus(1922-1979) & The Jazz Workshop All Stars in a series of radio broadcasts from Birdland on October 21, 1961; March 24 & 31, 1962; May 5 & 12, 1962 and October 19 & 26, 1962.
The seven broadcasts featured different groups drawn from Mingus(bass, piano); Booker Ervin(tenor sax); Rahsaan Roland Kirk(tenor sax, manzello, stritch); Yusef Lateef(tenor, flute); Charles McPherson(alto sax, tenor sax); Richard Williams(trumpet); Edward Armour(trumpet, flugelhorn); Jimmy Knepper(trombone); Pepper Adams(baritone sax); Don Butterfield(tuba); Jaki Byard(piano); Doug Watkins, Henry Grimes, Herman Wright(bass) & Dannie Richmond(drums).
Much of the music appeared on Mingus's great 'Oh Yeah' album recorded on November 6, 1961 including 'Eat That Chicken'(7 versions!); 'Hog Callin' Blues'; 'Devil Woman'; 'Ecclusiastics'; 'Oh Lord Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me' &'Peggy's Blue Skylight'.
There are also powerful versions of 'Fables of Faubus' & 'Ysabel's Table Dance'(recorded in 1957 but not issued until 1962 on 'Tijuana Moods'.
The sound quality is rough and ready but the spirit of this uncommonly fiery and passionate music shines through.
All fans of Mingus's 'Oh Yeah' album should find plenty to enjoy on these atmospheric and exhilarating recordings.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Live Mingus Celebration! 7 Jan. 2011
By jazz lover since 1960 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was debating giving this five stars because it contains marvelous unavailable Mingus music, or giving it four stars because the sound is sometimes distorted, and it is a ragged presentation. The five star won out because the music herein is magnificent.
This unusual 3 disc CD is a recording of live nightclub performances at the legendary Birdland nightclub by various Mingus groups from October 1961 to October 1962. They were broadcast on the radio, and recorded from the radio by Boris Rose. They are not professionally recorded, hence, they stop and start abruptly, and the sound is compromised. Don't misunderstand, you get full versions of each number. The sound quality is quite enjoyable. The music shines.
One way to summarize the music is to explain that it contains a lot of compositions from the 11/61 Mingus Atlantic masterpiece "Oh Yeah." This Atlantic recording is vital to me. I read jazz critic Chris Albertson's enthusiastic review in a hi-fi magazine, and ordered the vinyl from Corvette Store in NYC in 1961. When I played it in my college dorm room, my life was changed. It grabbed me in the solar plexus. I had never heard anything like it. Roland Kirk and Jimmy Knepper play in all their intense glory on 3 numbers on Disc one.
On these 3 CD's, you will hear every number from "Oh Yeah" a couple of times, plus a few other numbers not on "Oh Yeah.
Examples of numbers not on "Oh Yeah" include "Monk, Funk or Vice Versa." I have never heard this tune before. A version appears on each of the 3 discs, and each version is an intense, hard swinging romp.
You also get a marvelous reading of "Ysabel's Table Dance" by a drumless group. Yes, I'm not kidding. Dannie Richmond, Mingus' long time drummer, must not have showed up one night. So Mingus proceeded to play 3 numbers with no drummer. Believe me, you will not miss the drummer. This particular group includes pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Henry Grimes as an added bassist. Booker Ervin is on tenor, and Richard Williams is on trumpet. Richard's presence is a special treat for me, since I consider him one of the most neglected trumpet players in jazz. Enjoy his crackling, exciting solos throughout two of the three discs. The drumerless group also plays a great interpretation of "Peggy's Blue Skylight," one of the great compositions in jazz history.
Also included is swinging version of "OP"on Disc 3.
It is an interesting footnote that "Ysabel's Table Dance" was originally recorded in 1957, but not released by RCA until 1961. Therefore, Mingus publicized it in this 1961 broadcast. You also get a good version of "Fables of Faubus" with Charles McPherson, alto, Booker Ervin and Richard Williams and Jaki Byard on piano. While not as mind-blowing as the 1960 version by Eric Dolphy and Ted Curson, it is very good.
One of the joys of these recordings in the first chance I have had of hearing Toshiko and Yusef Lateef playing with Mingus. Toshiko acquits herself wonderfully on piano. Yusef's muscular tenor is a joy to hear on 3 numbers on Disc One.
Another first is the trumpet playing of Ed Armour on disc 3. Ed is a fine trumpet player, not the equal of Richard Williams, but fine none the less. Ed, what happened to you?
Disc 3 highlights include tuba player Don Butterfield and baritone sax giant, Pepper Adams. They lend a different sound to Disc 3. Don, Richard Williams and Jaki Byard went on to play on Mingus' 1963 recording "Black Saint and Sinner Lady", which I consider the greatest recording in jazz history. Most of the others mentioned above have played on many other Mingus recordings from this, his golden period.
It is good to have this music on a 3 disc set even though some of it has been previously released on vinyl. I used to own 2 LP's of these broadcasts with the strange titles of "Vital Savage Horizons" and "Hooray for Mingus." I believe Boris Rose released them. I hated these vinyls because there were no liner notes, personnel, etc. The 20 page booklet authored by Art Masarini included with these CD's is excellent.
The host of this radio broadcast is Symphony Sid, so you will get to hear his spontaneous intros. You will also hear Mingus' typical sometimes incomprehensible, awkward intros to his numbers. You will also hear the high pitched voice of Birdland MC Pee Wee Marquette, all 4 feet of him.
Anyway, it is all a vintage Mingus celebration. Highly recommended.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Four Stars for Mingus Fans-Two Stars for the Rest of You 16 April 2011
By Severus Martin Bernice - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mingus fans will find this an interesting addition to their collection, but for those not that deeply into his music, you'd be better served to spend your money elsewhere.

Of particular note are the performances of Booker Ervin, Charles McPherson, and Richard Williams on the first two discs. Ervin really blows the roof off and gets considerable solo space.

McPherson who had recently replaced Eric Dolphy in the Mingus band, gets many opportunities to stretch out, playing somwhere between Dolphyville and McLean City. Here you have a wonderful opportunity to hear early McPherson and his very unique voice on the alto.

For me the greatest treat is hearing Richard Williams, a rather obscure figure, on trumpet. After doing some sides with Dolphy and playing charts in later Mingus bigi band efforts, we really get the chance to hear this almost forgotten player in a live, small group setting. He reminds me somewhat of Lee Morgran, but he had his own voice and creative lines. If you can get a copy of his only date as a leader, "New Horn in Town", it would make a welcomed addition to your jazz collection.

Mingus plays strongly throughout and the band is supported by the "usual suspects" in the form of Jackie Byard, Dannie Richmond, and Jimmy Knepper. There are some interesting appearances by Henry Grimes on bass when Mingus sits at the keyboards, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Yusef Lateef, and Roland Kirk, it's the trimuvirate Ervin, McPherson, and Williams that really catches your attetion.

The third and final disc is somewhat of a letdown. Williams and Ervin are no longer present. While McPherson continues to impress with his improvosing, there's not much that moves you after his solos. Furthermore, the sound quality strikes me as a bit more muddied than that of the previous two discs. This isn't helped by the inclusion of Don Butterfield on tuba and the use of the mute and the flugelhorn by Edward Armour who replaces Williams. This tends to make the music sound a little bottom-heavy to my ears.

Armour was an adequate and polished player, but he didn't have the chops or creativity to make you forget Williams. With Williams off the bandstand there's an obvious void.

Potentially, the inclusion of the great Pepper Adams on the final disc might make up for the absence of Ervin and Williams. Sadly, Pepper gets limited solo space and what he gets is so far off mike that it sounds like he was playing down the street at the Onyx Club. You really know he's ripping on "O.P." but the lack of clarity unfortunately undermines your ability to enjoy it.

Personally, I don't make a big deal about fidelity issues with broadcast recordings, and this one gives you pretty much what you'd be hearing over your Philco fifty years ago. Neverheless, I do need to point out the limitations on the third disc.

Outside of the uneven sound quality, the tune list is rather limited. "Eat that Chicken", a fun, novelty tune, appears seven times! The first disc has the greatest amount of diversity in terms of songs and is the strongest in the set. A play on Monk's "Well You Needn't" (Monk, Funk, Or Vice Versa) is played three times...twice on the third disc.

The only other drawback is that the unctuous "Symphony Sid" Tarnopol is the mc.

The twenty page booklet provides some interesting information but also has a few errors. For example, on page twelve, the photo labelled "Charles McPherson" is actually a photo of Jackie McLean. There are a couple of other mistakes but nothing all that critical.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
For obsessive fans like me 21 Aug. 2011
By demo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The sound is pretty lousy and the material tends to duplicate itself (several versions of Eat That Chicken). I'm thrilled to hear this, particularly the underdocumented and underappreciated Charles McPherson, but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who has less than 20 or so other hours of the great man's music already in hand. Nice to hear Toshiko too. If the sound were better I'd give this 4 just cuz it's Mingus.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Why All Mingus Fans Should Get the Complete Birdland Broadcasts 18 Jun. 2015
By Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I just received this the other day. It is a must purchase for any Mingus fan. He plays with different combinations of the "Jazz Workshop All Stars" on each broadcast, so it's great fun to hear how Mingus' music gets interpreted and realized by different musicians and different instruments.

These broadcasts were made during the Oh Yeah! and Town Hall Concert disaster period, so it's also fun to hear different treatments of the tunes from these famous recordings.

There's plenty of conversation between and during the tracks, you can hear the audience, and you get to hear plenty of Mingus talking, singing, exhorting, and all those sensational things he did in a live setting. You get a sense of being there yourself.

The packaging is beautiful and beats all expectations. You get a booklet with pictures, an essay, and a complete listing of musicians for all broadcasts. Overlooking a few errors here and there in the information, it is a really cool-looking 3 cd package. The cds are in sleeves that fit into a card wallet which make the whole thing more attractive than the old jewel case style.

Finally, the sound is good, completely acceptable for this type of production; in fact, even better than the other reviewers suggest, granted that you adjust your equalizer. In other words, like the packaging, the sound beats expectations.

The music Mingus made for the major labels will always be available. Get this one while you can.
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