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Jazz - Released July 1, 1993 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Jazz - Released July 11, 2001 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Jazz - Released August 31, 1995 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Jazz - Released February 3, 1998 | Dreyfus Jazz

Que Viva Mingus! is an album dedicated to Mingus' considerable output of Latin-influenced jazz. The selections here include well-known Mingus compositions like "Los Mariachis," "Dizzy Moods," "Ysabel's Table Dance," and "Cumbia and Jazz Fusion," as well as some more obscure titles like "Slippers" and "Moods in Mambo," the album's oldest number, dating from 1949. Among the standout soloists are Randy Brecker on trumpet, John Stubblefield on tenor sax, Steve Slagle on soprano and alto saxes, Ronnie Cuber on baritone sax, and Dave Kikowski on piano. This is exciting, joyous, raucous, and still modern-sounding music, as fresh and challenging as the day it was written. And you can even dance to some of it. © Joel Roberts /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 9, 2002 | Dreyfus Jazz

Tonight at Noon: Three of Four Shades of Love marks the 80th anniversary of Charles Mingus' birth and is the seventh recording in a series that pays tribute to his music. The CD features the talents of the Mingus Big Band, a 14-piece rotating ensemble launched in 1991 by the widow of the composer/arranger/bassist, Sue Mingus. The thematic focus of the CD is love and its ten love songs also mark the debut of the Charles Mingus Orchestra, which is featured on four of the songs. The previously unreleased "Love's Fury" features a stellar arrangement by Syl Johnson as well as the very lyrical compositions Charles Mingus never quite received recognition for. Known primarily for his aggressive bebop basslines, these rarely performed compositions are dramatically and beautifully voiced by soloists -- trumpeter Randy Brecker and Craig Handy on "Love Is a Dangerous Thing" and sung emotively by Elvis Costello on his newly penned lyrics for "Invisible Lady," and "Ku-umba" Frank Lacy on the blues-drenched "Black Saint & Sinner Lady." Best bets are the nine-minute "Passions of a Woman Loved" for its pure entertainment and swing value; the four orchestra pieces beginning with the beautiful ballad "Noon Night," a piece originally orchestrated by Günter Schuller for the 1989 Epitaph project of concerts; the title track "Tonight at Noon" for its horn arrangements and upbeat solos from Alex Sipiagin and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts; the samba arrangement of "Eclipse," which makes this song a delight and a reason to keep listening; and Elvis Costello's passionate new version of "Invisible Lady." Boris Koslov and Andy McKee bring their bass lifestyles into each song with the spirit of a live stage performance and allow listeners to revel in their chord positions. This tribute tops previous efforts due to the inclusion of the new Charles Mingus Orchestra and Sue Mingus' tender focus on the gentler side of an artistic genius. A must-have for Charles Mingus enthusiasts. © Paula Edelstein /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 29, 1999 | Dreyfus Jazz

The MBB has become the most important and virile "ghost band" of them all. Their roaring, swinging spirit echoes the late bassist/composer/bandleader in ways that compare favorably to when Mingus was alive. The musicianship, rotating as it tends to, is consistently and outrageously outstanding, the new arrangements of classic Mingus tunes are fresh and vibrant as ever, and solos absolutely riveting. For this time around the band includes lead trumpeter Earl Gardner, lead alto/soprano saxophonist Alex Foster, and prominent soloists include tenor saxophonists Mark Shim, Seamus Blake, and John Stubblefield; trumpeters Randy Brecker and Alex Sipiagin; baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber; trombonist Conrad Herwig; alto saxophonists Bobby Watson and Vincent Herring; and arrangements by Michael Mossman, Sy Johnson, Howard Johnson, and Steve Slagle. Mingus himself speaks during the introductory "It Was a Lonely Day in Selma, Alabama," then the band chants and claps to "Freedom," certainly a prolific tone setter. "Haitian Fight Song" has bassist Boris Kozlov leading the angst-riddled charge, the piece played to perfection. The classic ode to Lester Young "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" is accented by tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake's patient, poignant solo and the band's pristine reading of Sy Johnson's new chart. "Don't Let It Happen Here," with its tango-flavored fanfare and son Eric Mingus' recitation, rivals the original. "Meditations for a Pair of Wire Cutters" has all the dynamic stop-start Mingus traits, "Pussycat Dues," is a pretty straight by comparison blues, "Oh Lord, Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb on Me" has Eric Mingus returning on the slow blues that still has relevance today as he shouts "don't let 'em drop it, stop it, be-bop it," and the 16-minute finale "Little Royal Suite" is so Ellingtonian in flavor, a full-bore swinger that lets the band, especially soloists Sipiagin, Stubblefield, and Herring running wild out of their cages. To interpret Mingus' music so faithfully and with such great authenticity and zeal is not an easy task. Another triumph for this ensemble, easily a Top Five jazz album of 1999, an essential purchase. Much more could be written or said, but Mingus and the band speak much louder than words. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Jazz - Released April 22, 2010 | Jazz Workshop, Inc. - Jazz Standard