(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
Charles Mingus-Bass, Piano on "Wednesday Night Prayer" and "Better Git Hit In Your Soul"
Eric Dolphy-Alto Sax, Bass Clarinet on "What Love?"
Booker Ervin-Tenor Sax
Bud Powell-Piano on "I'll Remember April"
Recorded live at the Antibes Jazz Festival in Juan-Les-Pins, France on July 13th, 1960, here the legendary bass giant, Charles Mingus assembled his definitive line-up, even having the influential pianist, Bud Powell sit in for one song.
On Mingus At Antibes the virtuosity of this album is overwhelming, and for the year that this recording was done, makes this release that much more special, underrated superstars Ted Curson and Booker Ervin made themselves a household name, with blinding solos that very few of their time could even think of matching.
The brilliant multi-reedist Eric Dolphy shines throughout as well, on his main horn the alto sax, Eric takes the innovations of sax giant Charlie Parker to it's nth degree, but yet not as radical as many would make him out at the time (that would be left up to Ornette Coleman).
Eric also stars on the instrument that he would unarguably become its master of, in the bass clarinet, which would be featured on the track "What Love?", a song that both he and Mingus have fun trading "talking" lick with each other.
The Hard Bop-ish "I'll Remember April", is a welcoming track introducing the talents of the mad genius Bud Powell, whose lovely, soulful tone set a peaceful mode to this song. Worth the price of this CD alone.
Last but not least, the rhythm section of Mingus and converted saxophonist turn drummer, Dannie Richmond, is as mind boggling brilliant as usual, directing songs with break neck speed.
Every Jazz fan must be thanking their lucky stars that Atlantic Records decided to record this concert, as for this here is top-notch material, the Jazz world would not be the same if "Mingus At Antibes" were not around.
One of the greatest live albums ever recorded of any genre and a worthy first choice for anyone not only looking to hear what Charles Mingus's bass playing sounded like, but to hear the master Bud Powell at work, and phenoms Dolphy, Curson, Ervin and Richmond strut their stuff, on a warm summer evening in Antibes.