How a Lost Charles Mingus Recording Finally Saw the Light of Day 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Several years ago, Amir Abdullah—better known as DJ Amir, half of the Brooklyn DJ/crate-digger duo Kon & Amir—was in Detroit researching the city’s short-lived but legendary Strata Records label. (Abdullah, in 2011, founded his own label, 180 Proof Records, specifically to license and reissue the Strata catalog.) Among the papers of poet John Sinclair, who worked as Strata’s publicist until its demise in 1975, he found a flyer from February 1973.

“MINGUS,” the flyer read. “Jazz in Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery/46 Selden, Feb. 13-18. Broadcast Live on WDET-FM 101.9/Feb. 13/10:00 PM.” There was no other information about the concert, and certainly no recording. Like so much of Strata’s history, Abdullah assumed that the concerts were lost forever.

Then, in the summer of 2017, Abdullah received an email from Barbara Cox, the widow of Kenny Cox, who founded Strata Records in 1970. (Cox died in 2008.) Her friend Hermine Brooks, the widow of Detroit drummer Roy Brooks (who died in 2005), had tapes of the Mingus band at Strata Concert Gallery. “I’m just yelling at the computer, like, ‘Yes! Oh my God! Are you serious?’” Abdullah recalls. “I was just blown away.”