This concert by one of the greatest bands Charles Mingus ever led presents the first complete performance of "Meditations" (here called "Praying with Eric"), a Mingus masterpiece. It had been rehearsed in segments at the Five Spot, but when it all came together, even the musicians were surprised--and Mingus loved surprises. Right after the concert (a benefit for the NAACP), the group left for a European tour, which was to be the last collaboration between Mingus and Eric Dolphy, who did not return home with the others and died just two months later (whence the title for the long blues, "So Long Eric," which was bestowed after the fact). The rhythm section (and it was much more than just that) of Byard, Mingus, and Richmond, known as the "Almighty Three," was unique, as was Dolphy, and Coles and Jordan have rarely been captured in better form.
with Johnny Coles, Clifford Jordan, Eric Dolphy, Jaki Byard, Dannie Richmond