Charles Mingus

Portrait

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This double LP reissues two albums titled Town Hall Concert and My Favorite Quintet. The earlier set features what was arguably Charles Mingus's finest group, his sextet with Eric Dolphy, tenor-saxophonist Clifford Jordan, trumpeter Johnny Coles, pianist Jaki Byard and drummer Dannie Richmond. Heard shortly before leaving for their famous European tour (during which they were fortunately extensively recorded), the all-star group plays long involved versions of "So Long Eric" and "Meditations on Integration." The latter half of this set has a more conventional rendition of "So Long Eric," a ballad medley and an attempt at humor on "Cocktails for Two" as played by Mingus, Byard, Richmond, altoist Chartles McPherson and trumpeter Lonnie Hillyer. Overall this is a worthwhile and quite enjoyable two-fer although not quite at the level of Mingus's greatest work.

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