“Lost” 1973 Live Charles Mingus Recording Set for Release

Jazz in Detroit, featuring saxophonist John Stubblefield, is out Nov. 2

Cover of Charles Mingus album Jazz in Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery/46 Selden
Cover of Charles Mingus album Jazz in Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery/46 Selden

BBE Music and 180 Proof Records have unearthed what are described in a press release as “long-lost intimate concert tapes” from Charles Mingus. The tracks will be released as Jazz in Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery/46 Selden on Nov. 2.

Says the announcement, “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.”

The tracks were recorded shortly after the release of Mingus’ orchestral work, Let My Children Hear Music, and feature a less celebrated band lineup including drummer Roy Brooks and trumpeter Joe Gardner (both Detroit natives), pianist Don Pullen, and saxophonist John Stubblefield. Stubblefield was a recent recruit who performed for five months with the ensemble, leaving soon after this engagement. After Mingus’ death, Stubblefield went on to collaborate with Mingus’ 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.

A full track listing for the album is still to be announced.

Read about Charles Mingus’ final collaboration with Joni Mitchell, excerpted from David Yaffe’s Mitchell biography, Reckless Daughter.