4 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This album is Mastered for iTunes. This 1963 effort from Charles Mingus is more of a single song cycle than a standard jazz album. The esteemed bassist/composer saw this composition as a kind of ethnographic ballet, and he filled it with tumultuous mood swings and serene textures. Mingus put together an 11-piece band for the recording session, and the complexities and raw emotions of these arrangements and performances make this one of the finest releases in jazz or any genre. The horn work here is especially vibrant. Charlie Mariano's alto sax and Quentin Jackson's trombone come together like a chorus of urban voices amid the nightlife clamor. This entire album is as evocative and melodic as anything done by Mingus' hero, Duke Ellington, but its wild emotional swells foretell the sounds of more outré jazz musicians like Albert Ayler and late-period John Coltrane. An inspiring and riveting listen from a giant of modern music.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This album is Mastered for iTunes. This 1963 effort from Charles Mingus is more of a single song cycle than a standard jazz album. The esteemed bassist/composer saw this composition as a kind of ethnographic ballet, and he filled it with tumultuous mood swings and serene textures. Mingus put together an 11-piece band for the recording session, and the complexities and raw emotions of these arrangements and performances make this one of the finest releases in jazz or any genre. The horn work here is especially vibrant. Charlie Mariano's alto sax and Quentin Jackson's trombone come together like a chorus of urban voices amid the nightlife clamor. This entire album is as evocative and melodic as anything done by Mingus' hero, Duke Ellington, but its wild emotional swells foretell the sounds of more outré jazz musicians like Albert Ayler and late-period John Coltrane. An inspiring and riveting listen from a giant of modern music.

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
42 Ratings
42 Ratings
transforrmerman ,

Huh?

Mind-boggling is what it is. The fact that this masterpiece by Mingus hasn't yet been reviewed (or that the reviews have been erased and not begun again). Also that this album isn't his bestselling release--that this album isn't one of the bestselling releases of all time by any composer musician artist genius. Perhaps that isn't exactly mind-boggling, given the general tastes of the music-downloading masses. But it should be mind-boggling, given the unbelievable genius displayed in this work.

Listen. Mingus is, still is, even now, well after his physical existence on this earth ended, one of the greatest composers we've had, and as far as I can tell, this is the greatest thing he ever composed, and he composed a lot of great music. I won't describe it, because I can't and because it couldn't possibly do justice to this work of art. Just listen to it. If you're afraid of committing the 10 bucks to something you might not like or listen to often, go get if from your public library, if they have it. That's how I first heard this.

Whatever you do, go listen.

buckeyefball ,

A True Classic

This was the first jazz album I ever listened to. Thank God I might that decision.

Jim O'Brien ,

Essential

Mingus's greatest work and one of the finest jazz albums ever recorded.

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