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Epitaph [DVD] [2006]

Price: £4.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Eagle Rock
  • DVD Release Date: 6 April 2009
  • Run Time: 1331 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,760 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Conductor Gunther Schuller leads 30 jazz musicians in the world premiere performance of 'Epitaph' by Charles Mingus, a work discovered after the great jazz bassist's death, remarkable for being the largest and longest piece ever written for a jazz orchestra. The performance took place in the Alice Tully Hall at New York's Lincoln Centre in June 1989, a decade after Mingus's death in 1979.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By coca-ebola on 6 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have already reviewed the audio release of this - I'll assume you know my feelings about the actual music.
It should be noted that the audio CD replaced and/or extended various musical passages, usually to cover up errors. This DVD however, presents the concert in "warts and all" form.
And it has a few advantages over the CD - I never understood why John Handy's delayed re-entrance on "Main Score Part Two" was considered such a grievous error that it needed replacing with an awkward reprise of the opening bars. Or why Roland Hanna's piano interlude at the end of "OP" needed to be trimmed by a few bars. At times though it's a trade-off in errors: "Started..." is just as messy here as it was on the CD, for different reasons.
So collectors will need to have both.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Recommended 5 Jan. 2010
By David Conklin - Published on
Format: DVD
Mingus fans should not hesitate to pick this up. It nicely captures the premier performance of this colossal work, live at Lincoln Center in 1989. A CD was released soon after the event, but apparently the DVD just came out in 2009. The audio quality of the DVD is very good, and the camera work is outstanding. The DVD makes it easier to follow the structure of this complex music, and you more fully experience the energy and passion of the musicians.

The nearly two hour composition consists of 18 movements or sections. Several of these are re-orchestrated, expanded versions of well-known Mingus songs. Others were conceived directly for a large 30 piece ensemble. The history of EPITAPH is not well-known, but it appears that Mingus worked on it intermittently for most of his career. Most of the score was intact, although Gunther Schuller--who ably conducts the orchestra--apparently had to piece together a few loose ends. Schuller's original, informative liner notes from the CD are included.

Overall, this is quintessential Mingus, with the remarkable gutsy sound, driving energy, and powerful punctuations you'd hope for and expect. Key soloists include Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis (trumpets), Bobby Watson, John Handy, George Adams (saxophones), Sir Roland Hanna and John Hicks (pianos). But, heck, all 30 of these talented players solo at various times. One 11 minute section includes nearly 100 little solos, providing "an ever changing kaleidoscope of instrumental color" (Schuller). Throughout most of the piece, everyone appears to be playing to a tight score (with limited improvisation), and the writing is ingenious, with ideas and sounds rarely heard in jazz.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A labor of love 7 Oct. 2013
By Dental Floss Tycoon - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This concert was a labor of love by all concerned, for some, love for Charles Mingus, for others, for the music, and it shows. Right down to the guitar soloist unable to dry the sweat stinging his eyes but playing wonderfully.

A terrific performance of incredible music.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
One of my two favorite concert videos 10 Oct. 2013
By buskin4jesus - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The enthusiasm and love for Mingus' music shines through this performance along with the excellence of the musicianship itself. I'm hardly a Mingus connoisseur, but this video is well worth it as an introduction to his music or a monument to his life and musical achievement.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
won't play 10 Jun. 2014
By James H Gundlach - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Damn thing won't play on any hardware I have in any room of the house or a car or a station wagon or a suburban, anything. It is a useless waste of time and money.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
ok. 3 May 2013
By Radu Ioan Lupascu - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very good!!! Album came sealed! Everything is perfect! I am your buyer! Was a good choice! Happy Easter! yours Radu
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