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At Monterey
Charles Mingus
At Monterey
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

1997 remastered live release for the jazz great features 8 tracks including a 6-track Duke Ellington medley along with two originals. Fantasy/Victor.


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CD Details

All Artists: Charles Mingus
Title: At Monterey
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Jvc
Original Release Date: 1/1/1986
Re-Release Date: 9/21/1986
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Monterey
UPC: 4988002101054


Album Description
1997 remastered live release for the jazz great features 8 tracks including a 6-track Duke Ellington medley along with two originals. Fantasy/Victor.

CD Reviews

demomo | 04/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The core quintet (sadly under-documented) of this record (Lonnie Hillyer, Charles McPherson, Jackie Byard, Dannie Richmond, and the man himself) played together (with variations depending on availability) from 1964-1970. Mingus named another record with them "My Favorite Quintet". Comparing this to "The Great Concert of Charles Mingus" recorded a few months earlier is instructive as it demonstrates the breadth / adaptability etc. of Mingus' musical personality and how responsive he was to the musicians he was working with. Without Eric Dolphy this music is more mainstream than The Great Concert, but very flexible and free within its chosen context. Charles McPherson (hard to imagine a greater contrast to Eric Dolphy as the lead voice) plays beautifully on "Orange" (for me this is the best realized version of this beautiful song and the masterpiece of this album) and "In a Sentimental Mood". Lonnie Hillyer crackles in contrast to his smoothness. Jaki Byard (so like Mingus in his sense of history) is his usual vituostic and encyclopedic self. The bass playing (particularly the solo "I Got it Bad") is magnificent and, as always, so is Dannie Richmond's drumming. John Handy (subbing for Booker Ervin) contributes a solo on "A Train".
The Orchestral "Meditations" is frantic and reminiscent of other large ensemble works by Mingus (which, sadly, tend to be under-rehearsed). Very powerful, but (not to me) as emotionally effecting as the quintet version from The Great Concert.
This record, The Great Concert, and At Antibes form a triumverate of live documentation that show different facets of Mingus, revealing in different ways the incredible power of his personality coupled with his equally incredible capacity for listening to / responding to the personalities of those in his band. His live records have a very different quality from his (equally magnificent) studio efforts, a spontaneous and flexible relationship to the material that demonstrates a separate exploration of the concept of freedom to the then-prevailing idioms of free jazz. This complexity (fascinating to me) seems to have prevented his getting the acclaim critics lavish on musicians whose products are more uniform and whose work requires less thought to categorize. The aspect that ties Mingus' body of work together is its emotional honesty rather than a particular 'sound' or 'style' and critics and academics don't seem to know how to deal with that.
I hope an affordable edition of this comes out soon."
Mingus burns
G. Sanders | LONDON | 06/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"From the opening roll of Jackie Byard's piano hammering out A-Train, through the rest of the superb Ellington medley that constituted side 1 of the original double-LP, and on through the rest of this devastating performance which should have ended with the arrival of The Big One, since anything else would be anticlimactic, this is Mingus at full bore and is absolutely essential 20th Century American music. Shame it's so damned difficult to lay hands on such an important artefact in that nation's cultural history."
Exciting Concert, But Not Essential
demomo | 03/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is the famous concert at the Monterey Jazz Festival in the fall of 1964. In the spring of that year, Mingus had lead what was perhaps his greatest group on a renowned tour of Europe. The initial sextet, featuring Eric Dolphy, Clifford Jordan, Jaki Byard, Johnny Coles, and Danny Richmond played together for about a week before trumpeter Coles fell ill onstage during a performance of "So Long Eric". The several bootlegs of this sextet (and the subsequent quintet after Coles had to drop out) are among the most sought after and outstanding in the entire Mingus catalogue of recordings (check Ebay). The "Amsterdam" and "Copenhagen" dates are particularly notable. The artistry is so high on these recordings that the Monterey concert that came later in the year, featuring an enlarged lineup, and minus Jordan, Coles, and the great Eric Dolphy (who had died suddenly in Europe that summer) pales in comparison. The Monterey date is especially good in the opening Duke Ellington medley, which gives Mingus plenty of room to engage in some beautiful solo playing. The second track, a version of "Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk" is notable as it is an interesting re-imagining of a Mingus classic that received its definitive treatment in a much different arrangement during the earlier European tour. The last track is the celebrated big band version of "Meditations". So far as I know, this is the only time that Mingus recorded this complex work with such a large ensemble. While certainly exciting, and featuring some outstanding "bow" work from Mingus, this large scale version collapses into ear-jarring chaos. Of course, the crowd loved it, and the band appears to be having a wonderful time! But, as compared to the remarkable earlier versions of this great piece, particularly the version which appears on "Live at Copenhagen", this bombastic performance falls far far short. The great and irreplaceable Eric Dolphy is intimately connected to this piece, and his absence on the Monterey performance depletes the music of much of its power. Indeed, Dolphy was certainly on Mingus's mind as he wrote the excellent liner notes to this set, as he mentions his late lamented friend no less than three times.It should also be mentioned, that the sound, although more than adequate, distorts at times, and is about on a par with some of the better sounding bootlegs from the Euro tour. But this doesn't seriously interfere with one's enjoyment of the disc.In conclusion, I heartily recommend this Japanese import to die-hard Mingus fans like myself, but otherwise those with less of an interest in his music may wish to skip this recording.One essential Mingus recording that year which should be aquired by all and sundry is "The Great Concert of Charles Mingus", which although it lacks the great Johnny Coles, is a fascinating and endlessly inventive document of a performance in Paris in April '64. This recording has recently been remastered and restored and is available via Get it while it lasts!!"