Charles Mingus Sextet with Eric Dolphy

Cornell 1964 (Blue Note)

Charles Mingus Sextet free jazz Eric Dolphy
Along with Duke Ellington, the late Charles Mingus is one of the granddaddies of jazz: a composer, bandleader, bassist, incubator of talent, and notoriously larger-than-life figure. Cornell 1964, two discs of previously unreleased material recorded at the Ivy League university, is an outstanding addition to his catalog.

First off, this ensemble was short-lived; tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan and multi-instrumental whiz Eric Dolphy would soon leave the fold. Some performances -- the rave-up take on Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train" for example -- embrace free jazz's boundary-shattering fury. Then there are a couple of tunes unique to Cornell: the whimsical "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and the standard "Jitterbug Waltz," wherein Dolphy's lyrical flute and Mingus' bass engage in a beautiful dance.

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