Review - Blues & Politics

Artist: Mingus Big Band

Blues & Politics
Label: Dreyfus Jazz
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Blues & Politics

No jazz musician has been serviced so well in death as Charles Mingus. Two decades after his death, the permanent big band he never had gathers weekly at the Fez, a New York club, giving full gale force to Mingus' big-band pieces, extrapolating on the combo pieces to rattle the ceiling as Mingus might have.

For "Blues & Politics," the neo-Mingusites revisit politically tinged compositions, including the raucous revolutionary salute of "Haitian Fight Song" and the barrelhouse protest of "Oh Lord, Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb on Me." "Meditations for a Pair of Wire Cutters," with its wide swings from elation to dread, is as emotionally sweeping a composition as jazz has produced; it's pure Mingus and evocatively delivered. Hard-core Mingus fans can complain that the band lacks the unpredictable originality of Mingus sidekicks such as Eric Dolphy, Jaki Byard and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. But if you miss out on the band that delivers Mingus by way of Randy Brecker, John Stubblefield, Seamus Blake, John Hicks and Vincent Herring (to name a few), your musical world will only be poorer for your discernment.

Scroll to read more Music Stories + Interviews articles
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.