Monday, March 29, 2010
Charles MINGUS - Changes One and Two 1974
SD 1677,SD 1678
NYC, December 27, 1974
(PS: This albums has nothing to do with Bremen Concert,as they were saying >>> Source: Soundboard or radio?
I BELIEVE it is pure FICTION).
Although I like these Changes records, I won't deny that this fails to match the ambition and grand scope of most of his 60s works. Both Changes One and Two feature a small combo (a quintet consisting of Mingus, Don Pullen [piano], Dannie Richmond [drums], George Adams [sax] and Jack Walrath [trumpet]) stretching themselves out occasionally, but more embedded in traditional jazz structure than usual for Mingus. All four tunes here all follow the head/solo/solo/solo/head format. "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love" is a lovely ballad with a fairly restrained Pullen solo, unfortunately it just doesn't have that characteristic Mingus stamp of composition to it. Having a melody ascend while the chords descend has been around forever. "Devil Blues" has some gritty singing and hollering with some pained trumpet in the background, but after a few verses, it's business as usual. Sax and trumpet get some cool phrases in the middle, and then again at the end they squeal out of their range, but it ends just as it seems like all hell could break loose.
"Sue's Changes" is the obvious standout here, lasting 17 minutes and changing often through different moods, tempos, and structures. It starts off slow, then picks up to a march feel, then gets faster and brighter, then vamps on the coolest two bars of the song, then builds to an insane climax before it breaks down. For the choruses, everyone follows this EXACT SAME STRUCTURE. So even though it's still head/solo/head, a crazy head makes for more interesting soloing. Of course, this is why it takes 17 minutes, but it's worth it to hear this talented group playing what so few are capable of doing.
CHANGES ONE (and its companion disc CHANGES TWO, both recorded in a single session) features outstanding performances of Mingus's intense, expressive compositions and is considered, even by the bassist himself, to be among his finest work. This group of intelligent, technically superior musicians, consisting of tenor sax, trumpet, piano and drums, had been playing together for two years at the time of recording and were at the peak of their collaborative powers. The tracks are as diverse as they are engaging-- ranging from the mind-boggling complexity of "Sue's Changes (with shifts of tempo, theme and mood, showered over by Don Pullen's keyboard flurries) to the straightahead rock of "Devil Blues" (with a spirited, shouting blues vocal by saxophonist George Adams). Emotions run high through the album as well, particularly in the passionate, swelling tenderness of "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love," an elegy to one of Mingus's heroes. Supported throughout by the artist's fat, elastic bass tone and the protean, articulate musical personalities of his band, the compositions are textural, challenging and multi-faceted, while still managing to remain accessible. Highly recommended, CHANGES ONE (particularly in conjunction with TWO) acts as an excellent introduction to the music of this jazz pioneer.
Charles Mingus- (Bass);
George Adams- (Vocals, Tenor Sax);
Marcus Belgrave, Jack Walrath- (Trumpet);
Don Pullen- (Piano);
Dannie Richmond- (Drums).
A1. Remember Rockefeller at Attica 5:56
A2. Sue's Changes 17:04
B1. Devil Blues 9:24
B2. Duke Ellington's Sound of Love 12:04
A1. Free Cell Block F, 'Tis Nazi U.S.A. 6:52
A2 Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Silk Blue 17:31
B1 Black Bats and Poles 6:20
B2 Duke Ellington's Sound of Love (with Jackie Paris) 4:13
B3 For Harry Carney 7:57