Just back from a great second set from the Mingus Orchestra at the Jazz Standard, in New York’s Gramercy area.
The various Mingus bands – the Dynasty, the Big Band and the Orchestra – are now resident at this club which, just as it sits midway between the Village venues and uptown Manhattan, also strikes a nice compromise between the basic nature of the Greenwich clubs and the overly sophisticated ambience of the posh supper clubs.
The inclusion in the band of Wayne Escofery on tenor was a particular treat – but so too were the superb solos by the band’s more unusual instrumentalists, Michael Rabinowitz on bassoon, John Clark on French horn and Doug Yates on bass clarinet.
Bassist Boris Koslov, of course, always takes the award for most difficult shoes to stand in, but he keeps something of the great man’s spriit in both his sound and his playing.
Tonight At Noon was a particularly strong piece, and Ku-umba Frank Lacy swapped his trombone for the mic and a barn-storming version of Devil Woman Blues to close off.
Great, too, to spot the indomitable Sue Mingus, Charles’ widow and the woman who is the driving force in keeping Charles Mingus’s music the great living and breathing body of work it is.