There are so many faces to Mingus that it is hard to choose which one you like best, but his relationship with Eric Dolphy was one of the high points, and this remarkable CD captured that time (1964) in Bremen, Germany, shortly before they parted ways, sadly forever.
Mingus was a tough, uncompromising bandleader. He expected everything out of his musicians, even if it meant punching them in the face like he did Jimmy Knepper once because he couldn’t hit the right note on his trombone. He would also scold his audiences for not listening, too busy clinking glasses or chatting with each other in the clubs. With Dolphy, their relationship appeared telepathic. Not much needed to said, as if Dolphy said very much to begin with. He always came in where Mingus needed him to, and seemed to carry the notes into other dimensions.
Dolphy became the star of these concerts, but of course Clifford Jordan was no slouch himself. Jacki Byard sounds like he had great fun, sometimes falling into a barrel house style of playing which was in keeping with Mingus’ eccentric mix of rhythms. You never quite know what will come next. Dannie Richmond and Johnny Coles round out the band.
I think some of these songs have appeared on other CD’s before. The moment where Dolphy says he is leaving the band to spend the rest of his time in Europe on his own, I believe came at Bremen. Sadly, he would fall a few weeks later from insulin shock and drift into a diabetic coma from which he never recovered. This CD serves as a beautiful testament to the last days of Mingus and Dolphy together. (James Ferguson)
And yes … this is a bootleg, and if you listen to this album, you´ll know, why bootlegs are an importnt addition to all the official releases … this is one of the best recordings of Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy we ever heard !
Jaki Byard (piano)
Johnny Coles (trumpet)
Eric Dolphy (saxophone, flute, clarinet)
Clifford Jordan (saxophone)
Charles Mingus (bass)
Dannie Richmond (drums)
01. A.T.F.W (Art Tatum-Fats Waller) (Mingus/Byard) 4.51
02. Sophisticated Lady (Ellington/Parish/Mills) 4.09
03. So Long Eric (Mingus) 26.49
04. Parkeriana (Mingus) 21.49
05. Meditations On Integration (Mingus) 25.28
06. Fables Of Faubus (Mingus) 34.03