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A band inspired by the orchestral colour and spontaneous feel of Charles Mingus’s small group music, they have developed an increasingly individual approach, exploring new directions while continuing to reflect the spirit of that music. “Uplifting, exuberant, rousing yet consistently intelligent music: Mingus would undoubtedly have approved.” (The Times)
Formed in 2011 in response to a request by Ray Davies for a band playing Mingus material on the Southbank Meltdown Festival which he curated, the Mingus Profiles Sextet concentrates on Charles Mingus’s musical portraits of friends, lovers, political enemies, musicians and one cat. All the material is taken from the Mingus songbook, but the treatment varies from number to number, so some pieces are transcriptions adapted to the line-up of the band, while others involve reworkings such as extended chord sequences, extra lines, or assembling tunes into a mini-suite.
Chris Biscoe, who contributes most of the arrangements, writes: “Mingus Ah Um was the first Mingus record I heard, the first I bought, and remains my favourite for the amazing variety of inspiring solos and arrangements it incorporates. It is inevitable that music featured on this record should be at the core of the band repertoire.”
Profiles of Mingus, the recording of new performances of music by Charles Mingus released on Trio Records has received high praise and was shortlisted for CD of the year by several critics, including John Fordham and Alyn Shipton.
Chris Biscoe: alto sax and alto clarinet; Pete Hurt: alto and tenor sax; Henry Lowther: trumpet; Kate Williams: piano; Larry Bartley: bass; Gary Willcox: drums
Supporting Mingus Profiles Sextet will be the Leeds Jazz Orchestra Mingus Workshop – an exciting local big band led by Colin Byrne, on stage at 7pm.
Mingus Profiles Sextet @Seven Arts. Thursday 19th May 7-10pm, £16/14, £8 for under 25s, and under 16s come along free