Charles Mingus Sextet
There is no shortage of live Mingus music available on record, officially sanctioned and otherwise, but this previously completely unknown concert recording from Cornell University in March, 1964, is a genuine discovery. The gig took place shortly before the much-bootlegged European tour of 1964, and featured Eric Dolphy three months before his death in Berlin, making it doubly valuable as an addition to the saxophonist’s discography, as well as a prime slice of previously unheard Mingus.
The concert featured a line-up of the Jazz Workshop that is not preserved in studio recordings, in which the bassist is joined by Dolphy, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, trumpeter Johnny Coles, pianist Jaki Byard and his long-time mainstay, drummer Dannie Richmond. Discoveries of material by major artists does not always deliver on its promise, but this one is essential listening for Mingus fans, and equally recommended for anyone with an interest in 60s jazz. (Kenny Mathieson)