Charles Mingus Centennial Sextet
2022 couldn’t end without Umbria Jazz presenting his memory/tribute to Charles Mingus on the 100th anniversary of his birth (Nogales, Arizona, 1922).
For two reasons, Mingus was an extraordinary piece of jazz history. He is an unrivaled double bass player, orchestrator and composer of absolute value (most of his themes are evergreens everyone has played), a brilliant bandleader and talent scout. Not only that: Mingus has been an impressible personality, an eccentric man renowned for his excesses, rowdy and sometimes quarrelsome, proud of his African-American roots. His autobiography, “Beneath the Underdog”, is a unique cross-section of the urban underworld of America when jazz hit its artistic peak.
The second reason is that Mingus holds a special place in the history of Umbria Jazz. In 1974 and 1975, Mingus was the absolute protagonist with memorable concerts leading one of his best bands, including Don Pullen and George Adams, and his “historical” drummer and friend Dannie Richmond.
To celebrate Mingus’ anniversary, Umbria Jazz has formed an original band, an Italian-American sextet (the lineup beloved by Mingus). The Americans: trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, the rhythm section with pianist David Kikoski, double bass player Boris Kozlov, and drummer Donald Edwards. They all have been members of the Mingus Big Band, formed and managed by Mingus widow, Sue – she passed away a few weeks ago – to keep her husband’s artistic legacy alive. The Italian members are trombonist Roberto Rossi and saxophone player Piero Odorici, two of the best jazzmen on the Italian scene.
The sextet has all the credentials to interpret Mingus’ repertoire originally, in his spirit.
CHARLES MINGUS CENTENNIAL SEXTET
w/ Alex Sipiagin, Piero Odorici, Roberto Rossi, David Kikoski, Boris Kozlov, Donal Edwards