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In 1976 I started a group, a quintet, comprised of Cello, Contrabass, Saxophones (tenor and soprano) doubling on Flute, Percussionist and a drummer. The musicians were Bernard Fennell (Muneer Fatah)-Cello, John Stubblefield- Saxes and Flute, Alyrio Lima- Percussion and John Betsch on the drums. The group did a few concerts in and around Manhattan.

In that year, one night I was performing at a club called "Bradley's" with pianist Ronnie Mathews when Mingus came in and sat at the end of the bar just listening to the music when all of a sudden he jumped up and came over to me and said "come on, me and you, let's play." I said, "what do you want to play?" He answered, in a kind of "gruff" tone," what do you want to play?" I then said, "how about All the things you are?" His reply was, "you play the first eight, me the second, then you take the bridge. I'll play the last eight, then we'll solo." After doing what I just described, I would solo for eight bars and give the bass to him. He would do the same and give the bass back to me. After that chorus, I would solo for four bars and give the bass to him. Again, he would do the same and pass the instrument back to me. Then two bar exchanges after which he said, "Okay, you got it!" The place went absolutely wild when we finished.


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