Mingus Big Band: Charles Mingus; Conrad Herwig, Craig Handy, Donald Edwards, Earl McIntyre, Frank Lacy, George Colligan, Jack Wilkins , Jeremy Pelt, Abraham Burton, John Hicks, Kenny Rampton, Alex Foster , Michael Rabinowitz, Miguel Zen¢n, Orrin Evans, Randy Brecker, Ronnie Cuber, Scott Robinson , Seamus Blake, Wayne Escoffery, Boris Kozlov, Johnathan Blake, Jaleel Shaw, Jack Wairath, Walter White, Doug Yates, Bobby Routch.|
As usual, the Mingus Big Band is in exuberant form throughout their performances on this CD, most notably on definitive versions of "Song with Orange" and "Orange Is Color of Her Dress," both of which were arranged by the late John Stubblefield. A bit different is that two songs apiece are played by Mingus Dynasty (a septet taken out of the big band) and the Mingus Orchestra. The latter, in addition to six bandmembers, adds French horn, bass clarinet, bassoon, and guitar. But although those two smaller groups have their moments, there is nothing that can match the Mingus Big Band at its finest. The key soloists include trumpeters Jeremy Pelt, Randy Brecker, and Jack Walrath, pianist George Colligan, trombonists Conrad Herwig and Ku umba Frank Lacy (who sings on "Paris in Blue"), tenor saxophonists Seamus Blake and Abraham Burton, baritonist Ronnie Cuber, and altoists Miguel Zen¢n and Alex Foster although anyone in this band can solo with the best, including bassist Boris Kozlov. The Mingus Big Band has been one of the most exciting of all big bands since its formation and I Am Three is another dazzling effort. ~ Scott Yanow
Down Beat (p.68) - 4 stars out of 5 - "There are whiffs of familiar non-Mingus themes running through this Mingus omnibus. Part of the fun is catching them when they float through."|
JazzTimes (p.77) - "[Mingus would] dig the ad-lib primal screams in the out chorus by Ku-Umba Fank Lacy. He'd appreciate hearing his classical side preserved faithfully by Sy Johnson....It's a swinging tour de force."
CD (1 Disc); Stereo|
7 June, 2005|