Saturday, December 22, 2007

Top Ten of 2007: Charles Mingus - Cornell 1964

the most beautiful thing to me about audio production is the broad varieties of rawness that appear on various records. if Spot of SST fame was involved in your debut 12" you'll know it simply because of how Spot used his complete lack of knowledge in the field to create some of the most simple and emotional releases ever. 'Cornell 1964' has some of the best produced jazz sounds i've ever heard. although that should come to no surprise what with the line up of Mingus, Dolphy and Byard. all brilliant performers in their respective ways and all in a variety of ways. while Mingus mostly dealt in realms of composed beauty (see his masterpieces: 'Blues and Roots' and 'The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady'), Dolphy was known for his intense devotion to the free form avant garde sound that he'd help basically patent (see Andrew Hill's 'Point of Departure' and Dolphy's own 'Out to Lunch'), Byard was sort of a meeting point between the two who turned in great work with Sam Rivers and Mingus himself.

charles mingus
perhaps, the most important factor of 'Cornell 1964' is the way it treads the line between the new and old of jazz at the time. surely Mingus and Dolphy's incredible interpretation of the song "Meditations" isn't something you'd hear any of Mingus' teachers play, but his devotion to honoring his elders is clearly seen in Fats Wellar's "Jitterbug Waltz". where Mingus embraces the more playful side of jazz with his takes on folk songs and old classics, in his own band's compositions there is an intense feeling of seriousness. "So Long, Eric" and the previously mentioned "Meditations" are all intensely intrinsic performances that define the players skills and also their ability to present emotion.

charles mingus sextet with eric dolphy - 'cornell 1964'
'Cornell 1964' is such a great release and to think that it has only been heard by the masses this year is mind blowing. clearly a definitive mark in Mingus and Dolphy's careers and in terms of jazz in my life it is just a great record that embraces the various kinds of jazz i love. very few times do i connect to a jazz album as personally as this one and the slight irish undertones in honor of St. Patrick's Day that are present give me even more of an interest in this record. one of my top ten releases of the year and for good reason.

charles mingus sextet - cornell 1964 (disc 1)
charles mingus sextet - cornell 1964 (disc 2)


KGB said...

Thanks for upping this, it's incredible. I look forward to the rest of the 07 list.

brooding bird said...

Man, thank you. A friend and i just started a jazz blog; please check it out when you've a moment:

thanks again,


Fred G. Sanford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred G. Sanford said...

does not work for me.
There is an error at the site where
the files are.

can that be fixed