Alan Douglas of United Artists arranged a record date in 1962 on which I was to play with two fine musicians, two men of imagination, whose normal personalities were as far apart as the North and South poles. Charles Mingus [bass] and Max Roach [drums] were both leaders of their own groups, but what was wanted now was the kind of performance that results when all the minds are intent on and concerned with togetherness. Nothing should be overdone, nothing underdone, regardless of which musician was in the prime spot as a soloist���
One of the numbers recorded was approached something like this: I announced the key signature and continued into the annotation. ��La Fleurette Africaine" I explained, "is a little African flower. The piece should be executed from the African philosophical point of view, with which it is concerned������
They both gave a nod of understanding. I went to the piano and called to the engineer, "Roll it!" Roach's rhythmic embellishments could not have been more fitting, nor have sounded more authentic, while Mingus, with his eyes closed, fell into each and every harmonic groove, adding countermelodies as though he had been playing the number all his life. It was one of those mystic moments when our three muses were one and the same. There was just one take, and I was thrilled.