Charles Mingus and Friends in Concert

COMPOSERS: Charles Mingus
LABELS: Columbia/Legacy
PERFORMER: Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Lee Konitz, Charles McPherson, Gerry Mulligan, Milt Hinton, etc
CATALOGUE NO: C2K 64975 (distr. Sony)

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When the compact disc replaced the LP in the late Eighties it gave rise to the remarkable phenomenon of almost one hundred years of recorded jazz being re-released in the space of some seven or eight years. Sadly these releases initially failed to take advantage of the increased time the CD offered or the opportunities for sound enhancement that were made possible by the new digital technology.

Time was when Columbia/Legacy epitomised these sloppy standards with poorly written liner notes, careless remastering and an insistence on straight analogue-to-digital reissues with no additional material. Suddenly, however, they are now setting the standard by which all back-catalogue re-releases should be judged. This Mingus imbroglio, recorded at the Lincoln Center on 4 February 1972 with an all-star cast, is a case in point.

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The original 16-track master tapes have been carefully remixed using the 20-bit mapping process, edits have been restored, over forty minutes of previously unreleased material has been added, the concert put in perspective with several sets of insightful liner notes, an array of previously unpublished photos of the concert unearthed, the original liner notes reproduced and the compositions restored to the order in which they were performed. This is how such a magnificent concert as this should be treated, imperfections and all, with the energy and force that was Mingus captured in all its glory. SN