(Unfortunately, none of this is on spotify. Some of it, like Monterey and Guthrie Theater, can’t even be purchased very readily. There’s an extremely expensive out-of-print 7-disc set called The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 that has a lot of this apparently. However, the UCLA album is $20 on Amazon, and Right Now is $10.)
On Right Now (recorded after the European tour but before Dolphy’s death), John Handy rejoins the band (for the first time since 1959) to replace Dolphy. Handy & Jordan are both on fire. At one point they bust out into some laidback bluesy R&B!
His concert at Monterey 1964 was considered a success, playing before a crowd of 7,000 people. In Sept. 1965, Mingus appeared on a NET (now PBS) television show hosted by the writer Ralph Ellison along with a separate performance by Cecil Taylor (how the hell is this video not on youtube?).
The UCLA album includes 2 false starts for "Once Upon a Time, There Was a Holding Corporation Called Old America" before he sends 4 musicians offstage to learn their parts! "Once Upon a Time..." was later recorded on Let My Children Hear Music as "The Shoes Of The Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jive Ass Slippers".
The UCLA album also has a cover of the Louis Armstrong classic “Muskrat Ramble”. As a young man he did play with Kid Ory, who composed “Muskrat Ramble”, and with Armstrong himself. I doubt any other musician played with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Eric Dolphy.
In 1965, Mingus and Sue were spontaneously “married” by his friend Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, who basically just chanted some Hare Krishna shit and then smiled at them. They had a tumultuous relationship, but they would get officially married in 1975 and she stayed with him through his death.
The jazzdisco discography mentions a duet between Cecil Taylor and Mingus in 1966, but it turns out that it was a misprint on a bootleg that was mistaken for truth -- the song does not actually exist. Damn.
It seems that Mingus did not record at all in 1966, with the exception of some live footage that ended up in the Mingus documentary mentioned above. The Jenkins book claims that this was possibly his last live concert before his hiatus -- and that longtime Sun Ra tenorman John Gilmore played with Mingus that night.
During his hiatus, he was hospitalized for 3 months for a nervous breakdown. He would perform in public maybe one or two engagements a year as a sideman. He went 18 months without playing in public at all.
Mingus said, “For about three years I thought I was finished. Sometimes I couldn’t even get out of bed.”
His wife said he was sometimes prescribed thorazine and other debilitating drugs.
We've succeeded in finding the tambourine and bassline samples (P. Sanders's Upper Egypt) but we're still looking for that lovely piano loop! Anyone over here think this sounds familiar or have any leads?