Charles Mingus
A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry

© 1995 (?) ZYX-Music GmbH
Bethlehem BET 6015-2 (Europe)

Compact Disc

This is an examination of a guy from Harlem and his relationship to jazz. It shows what jazz can mean to someone who's not basically a musician but who 'lives on that music' a lot... In terms of feeling, these guys knew a lot about jazz. Jazz helps the man in this piece hear himself, the way he is and feels, and every note becomes a part of him as he is now and as he'd like the world to be. Jazz says a lot of things for him and helps him be at one with himself.

Melvin Stewart about 'Scenes In The City' (from liner notes)


  1. Scenes In The City (11:20/11:49)
  2. Nouroog (5:01/4:49)
  3. New York Sketchbook (8:29/8:51)
  4. Duke's Choice (6:25)
  5. Slippers (3:27)

  6. Wouldn't You (unreleased) (8:42) (Dizzy Gillespie)
  7. Billie's Bounce (unreleased) (9:20) (Charlie Parker)
  8. Slippers (alt. take) (3:49)

    All compositions by Charles Mingus


On all tracks



Date and location
October 1957, New York City
Total time
34:55 (6015-2)
Original issue (year)
Bethlehem BCP 6026 (1958)
Reissues (year)
Liner notes
Nat Hentoff


Marketed and distributed in Europe by ZYX-Music. Tracks 6-8 are not included in European release.

Additional information by Uwe Weiler (September 4, 1997):

Mingus re Bethlehem/Modern Jazz Symposium:
I was working on the topic in July '97, at the time when I was happy
to purchase the original mono release Bethlehem BCP-6026, maroon label,
deep groove, BCP-12-6026-A-R1 (side 1) BCP-12-6026-B-R1 (side 2) on wax,
which I was in search for more than 20 years. I compared the original
release with the official US cd re-issue, edition 1997, Bethlehem
20-40092 stereo, which contents, by the way, also one alternate and
two new tunes. Indeed, there are some different segments within the
with the mono and stereo releases.
Obviously, the mono release was the more satisfying edit for Mingus,
but due to the relatively new and young stereo technique at the time
in October 1957, the stereo tapes had some awful dropouts, either by
the mike or/and by the tape itself. They had to make some re-recordings
which had to fit to the timing of the mono edition.
Anyhow, there's no complete new take of the three mentioned tracks
but there are sometimes very long alternate take segments within the
tracks which are different to the more known stereo releases.

NEW YORK SKETCHBOOK mono-8:48 stereo-8:51
The mono take has a 4:52 "middle part" which is a different
take insert compared with the stereo take's middle part 4:33
a. mono   0:00-1:17 same take insert
b. stereo 0:00-1:17 same take insert
a. mono   1:17-6:09 different take insert
b. stereo 1:17-5:50 different take insert
a. mono   6:09-8:48 same take insert, but ChinaTown interlude: 0:30
b. stereo 5:50-8:51 same take insert, but ChinaTown interlude: 0:52
ChinaTown interlude a. 0:22 cut from b.

NOUROOG mono-5:02 stereo 4:49
The mono take uses a different take insert 1:27 during Hadi's
ts solo compared with the stereo take's insert 1:14
a. mono   0:00-2:20 same take insert, Hadi solo starts at 1:51
b. stereo 0:00-2:20 same take insert, Hadi solo starts at 1:51
a. mono   2:20-3:47 different take insert, different Hadi solo
b. stereo 2:20-3:34 different take insert, different Hadi solo
a. mono   3:47-5:02 same take insert 1:15
b. stereo 3:34-4:49 same take insert 1:15
Hadi's solo at the very end of the tune is the same edit...

SCENES IN THE CITY mono-11:23 stereo-11:49
The mono release uses both a different take insert in the
beginning 2:49 and the end 2:14 compared with the stereo take's
beginning 3:05 and end 2:24, whereas the "middle part" 6:20 has the
same take insert in mono and stereo releases.
a. mono   0:00-2:49 different take insert
b. stereo 0:00-3:05 different take insert
a. mono   2:49-9:09 same take insert, 1), Knepper solo starts at 8:38
b. stereo 3:05-9:25 same take insert, 1), Knepper solo starts at 8:53
a. mono   9:09-11:23 different take insert, Knepper solo different
b. stereo 9:25-11:49 different take insert, Knepper solo different
1) "...Now, here I am standing at my window in my old building..."

The original mono release has a far more superior sound compared with 
the stereo recordings.

Yet some additional information by Uwe Weiler (December 28, 1997):

Meanwhile, to come back to the subject MODERN JAZZ SYMPOSIUM,
I've bought quite a lot of various LP and CD pressings in order
to check as to which extent the individual pressings are using
stereo or mono versions of SCENES OF THE CITY, NY SKETCHBOOK and

Available at my file are now:

1.  Bethlehem(US) BCP6026 MONO Orig. LP
2.  Bethlehem(US) SBCP6026 STEREO (Orig. LP only on cassette copy)
3.  Polydor Special(GB) 545111 STEREO LP (p '60s): Duke's Choice
4.  Polydor(D) 2335 079 MONO 2 LP (p '70s): Jazz History Vol.19
5.  Affinity(GB) AFF 105 MONO LP (p 1983): Scenes In The City
6.  Affinity(F) CHARLY 19 MONO CD (p 1986): New York Sketchbook
7.  Bethlehem/ZYX(D) BET6015-2 MONO CD (p '90s): A Mod.Jazz Symp...
8.  Bethlehem(US) 20-40092 STEREO CD (p 1994):A Mod.Jazz Symp...
9.  Giants of Jazz(I) 53161 MONO CD (p 1995): Fables of Faubus
10. Charly(D) CDGR 131 SEREO CD (p 1997): A Mod. Jazz Symp...

Obviously, as can be heard from the a.m. pressings, we have to
distinguish, as previously postulated, basically between stereo
and mono versions. Seemingly, only the German Polydor LP, no. 4.,
has transfered the stereo tapes to an own mono master, as probably
they did not like the stereo-sound. All other mono editions are
identical to the original mono release, except that these editions
show some different timings, but they are all aurally inferior
compared with the 1st release:

SCENES IN THE CITY, orig. LP (no.1) MONO 11:23
 No. 5 - 11:14
 No. 6 - 11:15
 No. 7 - 11:18
 No. 9 - 11:15

NY SKETCHBOOK, orig. LP (no.1) MONO 8:48
 No. 5 - 8:26 edited at the start
 No. 6 - 8:25 edited at the start
 No. 7 - 8:28 edited at the start
 No. 9 - 8:25 edited at the start

NY SKETCHBOOK, orig. LP (no.2) STEREO 8:51
 No. 3 - 8:49
 No. 4 - 8:29 edited at the start, release in mono
 No. 8 - 8.51
 No.10 - 8:51

See also