(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
The 10-piece Charles Mingus Orchestra is moving its weekly Thursday night New York City performances from its long-time home at Fez Under Time Cafe up
the street to Joe’s Pub. There will be two sets – the Early show, at
11:30pm and the Red Eye show, at 1:30am. Flapjacks, French toast, and
eggs and ham will be offered on a special Red Eye menu.
“We’re edging back to the days when men were men, women were women, and
music went on all night long,” says Sue Mingus, the band’s artistic
director and Mingus' widow.
During the jazz heyday of the 1950s and early 60s, jazz would go all
night into the small hours of the morning, with musicians sometimes
playing up to four sets a night. “When Max Gordon [founder of the
Village Vanguard] announced he was cutting out the fourth set, Mingus
said, 'you’re killing jazz, man,'” recalls Sue Mingus.
The Mingus Orchestra has built a repertory of newly arranged songs
culled from Charles Mingus’s 300-plus compositions. The Mingus
Orchestra plays with the intensity of the Mingus Big Band, but its
distinctive sound emerges from its more exotic instrumentation,
including bassoon, bass clarinet, French horn and guitar.
“Mingus believed jazz musicians should play a greater variety of
instruments,” she says. The other six instruments are chaired by
musicians that also play in the Mingus Big Band and include drums,
bass, trombone, trumpet, alto and tenor saxophone, with additional
doubling on flute, soprano and clarinet.
general admission. Early show: 11:30pm, $20 ($10 students); Red Eye:
1:30am, $10 ($5 students).
The Mingus Big Band is still in residency at Iridium in New York on Tuesday Nights. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen