As announced today by Quincy Jones’ QWEST TV, BBE Music and 180 Proof Records unearth long-lost intimate concert tapes from one of the greatest composers and bassists in the history of American Music, Charles Mingus.
Check out the QWEST TV Feature (complete with album sampler) HERE.
Transmitted live by producer and broadcaster Robert “Bud” Spangler for WDET-FM radio, these rare recordings from reels discovered by DJ Amir Abdullah capture Mingus during his week-long residency at the intimate Strata Concert Gallery in Detroit, 1973. This hard-swinging set features the earliest known recording of “Noddin’ Ya Head Blues”, and a rare inclusion of “Dizzy Profile” — a beautiful waltz never officially recorded by Mingus for studio release.
Following shortly after the release of Mingus’s orchestral masterpiece, Let My Children Hear Music, these recordings capture a lesser-known Mingus line-up including drummer Roy Brooks and trumpeter Joe Gardner (both Detroit natives), virtuoso pianist Don Pullen, and the innovative saxophonist John Stubblefield. Stubblefield was a recent recruit who performed for five months with the ensemble, leaving soon after this engagement. Later after Mingus’s death, Stubblefield went on to collaborate with Mingus’s widow, Sue Mingus, and became a key figure in the Mingus Dynasty and Mingus Big Band. This recording at Strata is the only known documentation of Mingus and Stubblefield on stage together.
The performance captured on these tapes is simply breathtaking: five masters of music channeling their greater spirits for an intimate, enraptured audience. It is a time-machine journey into a sensory experience of that February evening in 1973 Detroit; listeners glimpse a taste of the furious energy and compositional sophistication of this monumental modern creator and his jazz workshop.