Mingus Dynasty

Chair in the Sky

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After bassist/composer Charles Mingus' death on January 5, 1979, a reunion band featuring some of his former sidemen called Mingus Dynasty was formed. Cut just six months after the bassist's demise, this album was the first Mingus Dynasty recording, and it has its moments. Such alumni as altoist John Handy, trombonist Jimmy Knepper, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, and tenorman Joe Farrell meet up with two members of Mingus' last major band (pianist Don Pullen and drummer Dannie Richmond), plus bassist Charlie Haden, who ably fills in for the late bandleader. In addition to "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" (which was becoming popular at the time), the septet performs three numbers from Mingus' collaboration with Joni Mitchell, plus "Boogie Stop Shuffle" and "My Jelly Roll Soul." Handy and Pullen, in particular, fare well in this spirited setting, although one does miss the innovative bassist.

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