Jun 28, 2010
The fourteen musicians who played that night show that the fifty year plus old Mingus oeuvre is still relevant, if not cutting edge. Well-known tunes such as “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and “Moanin’” have fresh sounding arrangements, with the former including trombonist Ku-Umba Frank Lacy’s vocals on the Joni Mitchell-penned lyrics.
Some of the finest soloists around appear with
the Big Band, checking their egos at the door to make outstanding
ensemble music. Of course, that doesn't mean that there aren't some
shining moments. Veteran trumpeter Randy Brecker has a memorable
solo on the
rarely performed “New Now Know How”, and Jeff “Tain” Watts, for
years the cornerstone of Wynton and Branford Marsalis’ bands, keeps
the groove throughout. The ensemble brings down the house on the
closing “Song With Orange”, a twelve minute tour de force featuring
solos by Brecker and pianist David Kikoski.
The performance was originally aired on NPR's "Toast of the Nation", so if you heard it and loved it, now you can own it.