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Jazz Icons - Charles Mingus - Live in '64 [2007] [DVD]

 Exempt   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 14.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Jazz Icons - Charles Mingus - Live in '64 [2007] [DVD] + Jazz Icons - John Coltrane - Live In '60, '61 And '65 [2007] [DVD] + Thelonious Monk Live In 66 [DVD]
Price For All Three: 42.90

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Product details

  • Format: Black & White, Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Reelin' in the years/Naxos
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Oct 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000TNJIJM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,791 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Charles Mingus showcases three exceptional concerts performed in April 1964 featuring his most celebrated lineup of Jaki Byard, Dannie Richmond, Johnny Coles, Clifford Jordan and the legendary Eric Dolphy.

Product Description

Belgique 1964 : So Long Eric, Peggy's Blue Skylight, Meditations On Integration - Norvège 1964 : So Long Eric, Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk, arkeriana & Take The 'A' Train - Suède 1964 : So Long Eric (Rehearsal), So Long Eric...


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential DVD for all Mingus fans. 29 Dec 2007
By Jazzrook TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This marvellous DVD features 3 passionate performances by the Charles Mingus band in Belgium, Norway and Sweden during a European tour in April, 1964. The bassist, composer and bandleader was at the height of his powers at this time and coaxes fantastic playing from Eric Dolphy(alto sax, flute, bass clarinet), Clifford Jordan(tenor sax), Johnny Coles(trumpet), Jaki Byard(piano) and Dannie Richmond(drums) although Johnny Coles is absent from the Belgium performance as he was taken seriously ill a couple of days earlier at a Paris concert.
Highlights include two versions of the brooding and magnificent 'Meditations on Integration' in Belgium and Sweden and a haunting 'Orange Was The Color of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk' in Norway.
It's sobering to reflect that all the members of this wonderful band are now dead but 'JAZZ ICONS' is to be congratulated for bringing them alive again with this atmospheric and essential DVD.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collective improvisation at its finest 30 Sep 2008
Format:DVD
"Charles Mingus: Live in '64" is one of the strongest entries yet in Naxos' superb Jazz Icons DVD collection. The series features historical concert footage recorded by far-sighted European television stations of some of the biggest names in jazz history. Mingus--certainly one of the four or five most important jazz creators--is captured during his 1964 concert tour in Belgium, Norway and Sweden working with what was arguably his greatest band ever. Multi-reedman Eric Dolphy, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, trumpeter Johnny Coles, pianist Jaki Byard and drummer Dannie Richmond were intuitive and brilliant interpreters of Mingus' unique music, which synthesized blues, gospel, bop, New Orleans traditional and early '60s modernism. (Next to Mingus, Dolphy was the most important artist in this band, as well as the most adventurous, able to adapt to mainstream musical surroundings while seamlessly exploring his own radical directions.) Each musician was also flexible enough to meet the unique demands of their mercurial and unpredictable bandleader. Mingus preferred to communicate his compositions verbally rather than write them down, frequently changed their structure, tempo and duration (often during a performance), and granted a large measure of creative latitude to his band members in bringing his music to life. This approach contributed to the exhilarating, spontaneous quality of his concerts and recordings, and helped ensure that no two versions of the same tune ended up sounding quite the same. In fact, two of Mingus' seminal compositions--"So Long, Eric" and "Meditations on Integration"--are played multiple times on this DVD, yet each performance emerges as a distinct and original incarnation. Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PROBABLY one of the best jazz dvds on the market 13 Jan 2009
Format:DVD
Now, the title of this comment might be a bit tacky; I haven't really seen enough dvds to judge like that, but if you watch this, you'll get carried away as well... Whether it's one of the versions of "So Long Eric", beautiful "Meditation on Integration", or Eric Dolphy (and the rest of the band) going beserk on "Take the A Train" - this is brilliant, swinging, modern and innovative jazz music, with hard drive warm feeling and plenty more...
If you add good filming crew, brilliant liner notes, you get a 5 star item to say the least... It' interesting - Mingus arranges his quintets and quartets to sound as if they were big bands, without loosing the subtleties of a small group. But, I guess that's just one of the things that makes him such a great leader and composer. And on most of these tracks there are six musicians!

This is America's finest, recorded in Norway, Sweeden and Belgium.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fabulous 11 Aug 2012
By Cason
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyable. Cracking stuff. So much talent. Consistently interesting. Marvellous interplay between the musicians. So good to see Dolphy (my favourite jazz musician) playing live. Jaki Byard also fabulous. Clifford Jordan very good. Dannie Richmond too loud, but tolerable. Johnny Coles sub-Miles Davis. Mingus I can't get into though, sorry - his bass is a bit elastic band. But he brought this group together, so that's OK.

A good deal of the 1964 Mingus Europe tour concerts are now available on CD. Get them all! One of them (with Coles absent) features a riveting exchange between Jordan & Dolphy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorite Jazz Icons 22 April 2008
By David Conklin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
If you've ever been intrigued by the music of Charles Mingus, one of the greatest composers and innovators in the history of jazz, you owe it to yourself to get this DVD. I've already watched it 3 times, and will be enjoying it (and others in this Naxos series) for years to come. The footage, all from Mingus's European tour of 1964, includes a live concert and other performances made for European television. The three venues (Belgium, Norway, and Sweden) were filmed within a one week period. The camera work is quite good, and the quality of the film is certainly OK for its time. You get plenty for your money: the DVD is a full two hours long, much longer than most others in this series.

This group was arguably Mingus's best line-up ever, and the tour was easily one of the high-points in the great bassist's long and productive career. It's a real pleasure to watch this charismatic leader play and interact with his fellow musicians; he was clearly having fun and receiving satisfaction from what this remarkable band was producing. There's plenty of footage of the great Eric Dolphy--much more than on the John Coltrane Jazz Icons DVD. Clifford Jordan, Johnny Coles, Jaki Byard, and Dannie Richmond all play well and are fun to watch. One thing that seems especially notable about this group (besides the collection of talent) is that everyone has a somewhat different style, yet the conglomeration results in some of the most interesting (and complex) jazz music every created by a small group.

Although one might wish for a greater variety of compositions (there are a total of 6), the DVD apparently does include most of the songs the group was playing on this tour. There are 4 different versions of "So Long Eric" and 3 of "Meditations on Integration," but these are performed quite differently and it's interesting to hear the varied arrangements and improvising from venue to venue. In summary: Exhilarating !
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collective improvisation at its finest 30 Sep 2008
By Dean R. Brierly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"Charles Mingus: Live in '64" is one of the strongest entries yet in Naxos' superb Jazz Icons DVD collection. The series features historical concert footage recorded by far-sighted European television stations of some of the biggest names in jazz history. Mingus--certainly one of the four or five most important jazz creators--is captured during his 1964 concert tour in Belgium, Norway and Sweden working with what was arguably his greatest band ever. Multi-reedman Eric Dolphy, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, trumpeter Johnny Coles, pianist Jaki Byard and drummer Dannie Richmond were intuitive and brilliant interpreters of Mingus' unique music, which synthesized blues, gospel, bop, New Orleans traditional and early '60s modernism. (Next to Mingus, Dolphy was the most important artist in this band, as well as the most adventurous, able to adapt to mainstream musical surroundings while seamlessly exploring his own radical directions.) Each musician was also flexible enough to meet the unique demands of their mercurial and unpredictable bandleader. Mingus preferred to communicate his compositions verbally rather than write them down, frequently changed their structure, tempo and duration (often during a performance), and granted a large measure of creative latitude to his band members in bringing his music to life. This approach contributed to the exhilarating, spontaneous quality of his concerts and recordings, and helped ensure that no two versions of the same tune ended up sounding quite the same. In fact, two of Mingus' seminal compositions--"So Long, Eric" and "Meditations on Integration"--are played multiple times on this DVD, yet each performance emerges as a distinct and original incarnation. Needless to say, Mingus and his band are in peak form throughout all three concerts, demonstrating a sustained level of emotion and improvisation that almost defies description. Equally fascinating is the rehearsal footage captured prior to the Stockholm concert, which shows Mingus shaping the overall contours of each tune while leaving plenty of room for creative interpretation. An added bonus is watching the musicians interact with one another as well as respond to Mingus' instructions. This is musical history in the making, a revelatory visual and audio document essential for anyone interested in the development of American's greatest indigenous art form. Amen.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To see it is to feel improvisation at work before your eyes 20 Sep 2008
By Ian Muldoon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Why bother with a DVD of Mingus from the sixties, in black and white? Especially when you have the best of his recorded legacy and have heard it a hundred times? A couple of reasons - firstly, Mr Mingus was a composer, conductor and musician of outstanding excellence whose working methods are best revealed visually at the moment of creation. Of many improvising artists, he is one of the most active and passionate in his methods exhorting, listening deeply, using eyes, hands and body to guide, and providing a model of powerful leadership.
The viewer is witness to a creative process which he sees evolving before his eyes and feels drawn in to it. The gap between performers and viewer seems small indeed. Secondly, those in his band, like those in the various bands of Duke Ellington, are all masters on their respective instrument, and to be a visual and aural witness to their interactions with Mr Mingus is in itself a lesson in musicianship. Mr Byard is a revelation. One small, observation: Mr Mingus appears to have feet as large as another great American, Michael Phelps!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meditations 7 Aug 2011
By chelofilm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Charles Mingus Live in '64 Jazz Icon DVD is an incredible record of one of the best jazz ensembles to ever play together. When the sextet performed Meditations in Belgium, they played flawlessly, with Eric Dolphy standing out on both flute and bass clarinet and Mingus experimenting with techniques and timbres on bass and with dropping objects onto the piano's strings during the performance. I am so glad to have the DVD so I can study what the ensemble accomplished together musically. It is especially important for me to have a visual record of these last performances of Eric Dolphy's. Since he died in June of 1964, these are precious records of a musical genius whose life was cut short by undiagnosed diabetes.

Jaki Byard sounds amazing on the recordings also. His knowledge of all types of music seeps into his improvisations. One minute he's evoking Jelly Roll Morton and the next Tchaikovsky and Alban Berg, and Asian flavors blossom, too. Clifford Jordan is an understated player, and he's technically precise with a nice tone quality. His way of working fit perfectly with Mingus' overwhelming and fiery personality. Richmond, an ebullient drummer with an obvious love for playing with this group of musicians follows Mingus well and changes the tempi with precision in Meditations. Coles' trumpet playing is also undertstated, yet beautifully expressive. It's clear Miles Davis had a strong influence on his playing with the bending of notes and lovely tone quality.

Eric Dolpy and Mingus are the stars, however. Dolphy blows my mind with his virtuosity on three instruments. His flute playing is lovely and nuanced and when he grabs the bass clarinet another side of him comes to the fore. Pyrotechnics is the word that comes to mind. His alto saxophone playing is equally mind-numbing.

Mingus put together one of the best groups of musicians ever and composed music perfectly suited to their talents.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blown Away! 23 May 2012
By Mactavish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I'm more of a Coltrane, Miles, Monk fan, but I knew Mingus was a legend, so I rented this knowing nothing
about his 1964 band. When I heard the beautiful & bizarre saxaphone playing, I thought, Could that be Eric Dolphy?
Of course it was, & at the peak of his power! No longer a Coltrane follower/acolyte, but a master in his own right.

I've watched the DVD closely & also played it in the background. Mingus gives you a history of Jazz, from New Orleans to Charlie Parker, to the ensemble jazz of late '50's/early '60's, to Dolphy foreshadowing the experimentalism of the mid to late 60's. Though many decried Dolphy (Coltrane & Ayler), they were superb musicians who had mastered many forms of music before trying to break the barriers of time, space & sound. Just like Picasso could paint like a master, before he re-invented himself many times, Dolphy & the suberb band are restless innovators & imporovisers on a high plateau that few mortals will ever ascend to.

I loved the rehearsal snippets where Mingus stops the band. Even though they were doing great by most standards, he was always aiming higher. Inspirational! This is serious music filled with beauty, melancholy, grace & joy. Definitely a peak of modern jazz & American music in general.
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