18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Live At Carnegie Hall (Audio CD)
Mingus was never easily categorized - a modernist with a keen sense of jazz history, ironical towards the "copy-cats" of other great modernists, politically bitter in his public statements, etc.
At this CD, Mingus presided over two remarkable jam-sessions on tunes from Duke Ellington's magnificent repertoire.
Naturally, Ellington was just one of the influences on Mingus, who developed highly individual and instantly recognizable style and poetics, but this CD gives a great example of the way Mingus approached the music of his elder colegues. The performances are at the same time modern and swinging in the traditional sense, with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, George Adams, Hamiet Bluiett and others (who blew me out my mind with joy by their strong playing) constantly led by the leaders strong rhythmical pulse. A masterpiece.
Full of brilliant improvisations and "cutting contests", these two jams nevertheless have the feel of a "composition" (or "arrangement")in the sense of Ellington's or Mingus's best orchestral work.