Mingus Big Band

Live in Time

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Having exhausted most of the late bassist's best-known songs, the Mingus Big Band emphasizes obscurities (such as "Sue's Changes," "Children's Hour of Dream" and "Chair in the Sky"), along with later-period work, on their third release, Live in Time, a double CD. The orchestra really digs into the complex material, and they perform Mingus' almost impossible-to-play originals with joy, swing and constant excitement. Among the many all-stars on this fascinating and highly enjoyable set (all of whom are featured) are trumpeters Randy Brecker, Philip Harper and Ryan Kisor, trombonists Frank Lacy, Robin Eubanks and Britt Woodman, altoists Gary Bartz and Steve Slagle, Seamus Blake, Mark Shim and John Stubblefield on tenors, Ronnie Cuber or Gary Smulyan on baritone and Kenny Drew Jr. or John Hicks on piano. The gloriously overcrowded ensembles, the explosive solos and the spirit of Mingus are three of the many reasons to acquire this memorable effort.

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