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Mingus’ Great Concert Reissued

In case it slipped onto store shelves without catching your attention, Verve has reissued The Great Concert of Charles Mingus, the must-have live recording the late bassist made during his first European tour. The two-disc reissue brings us two previously unreleased tracks and puts the songs in the order they were originally played at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris on April 19, 1964.

With the help of Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein, Mingus and his newly assembled group-Eric Dolphy, Clifford Jordan, Jaki Byard Dannie Richmond and Johnny Coles-went to Europes for a 16-day tour that included a dozen concerts and took them to Oslo to Milano to Paris. While the itself was both mentally and physically exhausting for the musicians, it produced some of the best performances from this small Mingus band.

Though the touring group was a sextet, The Great Concert is a quintet recording, as trumpeter Coles was ill that night; he had been taken to a hospital during the band’s first show in Paris.

The reissue restores the performance to its original running order and includes “A.T.F.W. (Art Tatum Fats Waller)” and “So Long Eric,” two tracks that have been excluded in previously released versions of The Great Concert. Also included are Mingus’ introductions of the band members and songs.

The Great Concert of Charles Mingus track list:

Disc one:

A.T.F.W. (Art Tatum Fats Waller)

Presentation of Musicians: Johnny Coles’ Trumpet

So Long Eric

Orange Was the Colour of Her Dress Then Blue Silk

Fables of Faubus

Disc two:

Sophisticated Lady


Meditations on Integration

Originally Published