Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mingus Dynasty & Mingus Big Band

Tom and I visited the fabulous Regatta Bar at the swank Charles Hotel in Cambridge tonight to hear the Mingus Dynasty and Mingus Big Band. In a word: OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!

The room was packed and I was so excited to see the large number of young musicians who came to witness this amazing show. We ran into our friend Jay's son Zack, who plays sax for his high school jazz band (who took a band trip to the Regatta Bar for the best jazz education ever.) How fortunate for us that Sue Mingus carries on the mission of her late husband by keeping watch over his music and guiding the bands all over the world. She also manages the Jazz Workshop program "Let My Children Hear Music." God bless her.

Sue was in the front row as the band tore through a hot set. I don't want to come off like a Grateful Dead list freak but after the Mingus Dynasty (featuring the lovely and fierce Helen Chung on piano) burned it up for 20 minutes, the big band (3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 5 saxophones, drums, bass and piano) blew the roof of the joint, blazing through Shades of Blue, Haitian Fight Song (which elicited a huge cheer from the high school set), a 5 minute selection from Epitaph (Children's Hour Dream), Don't Let it Happen Here, Invisible Lady (featuring the super-amazing Lauren Sevian on baritone sax) and the band closed with one of my favorites, Song with Orange. It was like going to church. Transformationally gorgeous.

I learned a lot about Charles Mingus on the website, but I was previously unaware of this scholarly study conducted by Mr. Mingus himself. I'm going to get Tommy started on it immediately. Freaky. Deaky. Cool.

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