From time to time my interest in jazz sags a bit but listening to this disc has completely renewed my interest in jazz. It is hard to believe that 58 years have past since this exciting music was made. Genius is a very strong label to anoint someone with but Charlie M was very close to the description.
Mingus + co live at Antibes in 1960 or as wikipedia put it: Mingus at Antibes was originally a double album recorded at a live 1960 performance at Juan-les-Pins by jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus; it was released in 1976. The album captures a performance at the Antibes Jazz Festival, and features some of Mingus's regular musicians in a generally piano-less quintet, though the band is joined by Bud Powell on "I'll Remember April", and Mingus himself plays some loose piano on "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" and "Better Git Hit in Your Soul".
Charles Mingus – bass, piano,Ted Curson – trumpet,Eric Dolphy – alto saxophone, bass clarinet, Booker Ervin – tenor saxophone,Dannie Richmond – drums plus Bud Powell – piano on final track
the Atlantic label official release is Mingus - Live at Antibes as here , (was also released without original artwork or sleevenotes as Folk Forms is a cheap re-issue by the Penny label from the early 1990 s) The live performance at Antibes is undeniably exciting ,containing genuinely rawkus jazz with Mingus goading, wailing and steamrollering his band members through the first three tracks in the same manner. the impression is of a slightly drunken band of jazz musicians having a damn good time. much onstage vocal exhortations by Mingus to his band members adds to the sense of fervour but for me though i rarely play the cd (i bought mine back in about 1992) the sound quality is excellent and the performance of Eric Dolphy on What Love make this cd a flawed experience but worth buying for What Love alone which is superbly languid with Dolphy playing incredible bass clarinet throughout. a marvel. the first three tracks all follow Mingus' accelerating train method though and all three end in the same way with thrash about drumming at the finale of each track after the horn soloing free for all.
however , exciting and swinging ? yes, boisterous and ultimately a perhaps a little repetitive ? yes . great jazz overall though. four stars.
It was probably Mingus' best group featuring Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone), Ted Curson (trumpet), long-serving Dannie Richmond (drums) and the leader himself on bass who recorded this live festival gig in the summer of 1960.
The performance is bookended by extended rollicking gospel-tinged workouts of two of Mingus' greatest 'hits', "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" and "Better Git Hit in Your Soul". Along the way, Booker Ervin really takes it to church on a passionate reading of the mighty "Prayer for Passive Resistance" which is sold as a rock and the highlight for this listener ; while Dolphy (on bass clarinet) and Mingus himself get the most out of the musical question, "What Love?". Curson and Richmond's contributions are also a joy throughout the proceedings and special guest artist Bud Powell joins the band on piano for "I'll Remember April".
What we have here is a fine, spirited and jumping live recording. The CD version is good value for money as when this was originally issued on vinyl it was a two-record set and, it also stands up well as a fair introduction to the work of Charles Mingus. It will make you eager to search out more from this important composer and musician who, like Thelonious Monk, always commanded the employ of top and imaginative soloists.
This complete 1960 Antibes concert is probably one of Charles Mingus's most exciting live recordings which, inexplicably, was not released by ATLANTIC until after his death in 1979. The music is uncommonly fiery and passionate with inspired playing from Mingus(bass & piano), Eric Dolphy(alto sax, bass-clarinet), Booker Ervin(tenor), Ted Curson(trumpet) and the ever-present Dannie Richmond(drums). The great bop pianist Bud Powell makes a guest appearance on one track, 'I'll Remember April'. Small group jazz doesn't get any more powerful or moving than this and 'Mingus At Antibes' deserves to be included in any modern jazz collection.
I echo all the previous comments, this is an outstanding example of live jazz from one of Mingus's best bands. Blistering solos, driving rhythm section and original themes. Refreshes the parts other bands cannot reach BUT not for the faint hearted ! Rumour has it that somewhere exists a video of this concert - now that I would like to see.
I don't like to verbalise too much about music, but I noticed no one had wrote a review of this. I cant overemphasise the impact this album had on my life. It contains some of the greatest examples of improvisational group playing ever recorded. Forget labels like Music, Art, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Rock,. This album contains some of the most emotionally resonant music you'll ever hear.
This is classic Mingus. The live recording quality is amazing considering how long ago the album was made. Some of the music may be a bit 'out' for some tastes, the conversation between Mingus and Dolphy on 'What Love' where they are exploring the tonsl palletes of their instruments is a particularly heavy part!