Mingus Amingus paints a fresh face on the music of Charles Mingus for a live concert in Havana, where the seven-piece combo lived up to its reputation as one of San Francisco’s most popular jazz groups. Beginning with “Slop,” and ending with “Fables of Faubus,” an ode-of-sorts to Alabama’s segregationist governor from the ’50s, Bassist bandleader Miles Perkins takes the combo on a musical walkabout of Cuba and the United States. Hip hop jazz takes center stage with rappers Martin G. Reynolds and Anita Johnson, whose rhyming travelogues are full of wit. The musical journey of Mingus Amingus includes a smoking organ blues, “Blue to the Seventh Power,” by the group’s elder statesman, keyboardist Muziki Roberson, and a raucous rendition of the Ellington, Tizol, and Mills standard, “Caravan.” The latter showcases a percussive dialogue between Adrien Jose Areas, the group’s conga player, and Miguel “Anga” Diaz, one of Cuba’s premier congueros.
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