Charles Mingus in the Village


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June 5, 1957, Vol. II, No. 32

Major Jazz Event in Village

The Village Voice and Jean Shepherd will bring together some of America’s most brilliant interpreters of modern jazz on Saturday midnight, June 15. Loew’s Sheridan, at Seventh Avenue and 12th Street, was chosen to stage the concert in order to bring this major musical event into the Village. It will be the first jazz concert of such magnitude ever to take place below 14th Street. Present plans call for a series of “jazz evenings” which, it is hoped, will make Greenwich Village the number-one jazz center of the country.

Jean Shepherd, as master of ceremonies, will introduce the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Charlie Mingus Quintet, and the Randy Weston Trio with Cecil Payne. Barbara Lea will handle the vocals.

The Modern Jazz Quartet is regarded by critics as one of the really great jazz groups playing today. Of its musical director and pianist, John Lewis, Downbeat wrote: “He is unlike any other in contemporary jazz. No one combines his quality and touch…his classical taste, and his ability to swing deeply while appearing so quietly fastidious.”

Among the highlights of the evening will be a new composition by bass virtuoso Charlie Mingus called “Tia Juana Table Dance.” An authentic Flamenco dancer will accompany the number, which is based on Spanish Flamenco and jazz rhythms. Critic Barry Ulanov said of Mingus “Here is a man who thinks and feels with unending resources both of musical technique and imagination. In other words, an artist.”

All tickets for the jazz event entitled “Music for Night People” are $2, and are on sale — mail order or over-the-counter — at Loew’s Sheridan.

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]