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Pre-Bird

Charles Mingus

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Album Review

This pair of 1960 studio sessions represents some of Charles Mingus' best arrangements. Leading the smaller of two groups, he interpolates "Exactly Like You" into a driving version of "Take the 'A' Train" and adds a soulful blues, "Prayer for Passive Resistance," both of which feature great solos by tenor saxophonists Booker Ervin, Yusef Lateef, and Joe Farrell. A much larger ensemble is utilized on three tracks, including the advanced bop "Mingus Fingus No. 2" and "Bemoanable Lady," which features a rather strangely conservative alto sax solo by Eric Dolphy. Less successful are Lorraine Curson's vocals on the dissonant "Eclipse" and pulsating "Weird Nightmare." But this reissue, re-released previously under the title Mingus Revisited, has received a superb 24-bit remastering and also includes a number of photos from the sessions.

Customer Reviews

Cinematic

I've wanted to make this movie for years! Mingus' music has such a visual element and "Pre-Bird" really takes you on a journey. From "A Train", interpolated with "Someone Like You" to the frenetic yet sparkling "Mingus Fingus #2, the haunting "Weird Nightmare" or the sublimely cinematic "Half Mast Inhibition", the album paints a beautiful mural of sound. The album was re-released as "Mingus Re-visited" but without ".... Inhibition", one of the most complex and visual compositions of Mingus' career. Truly one of Mingus' best. If you want to know more about the man you can check out "Beneath The Underdog" or the great documentary "Mingus :1968" which was shot as Mingus was being evicted from his Manhattan apartment.

Biography

Born: April 22, 1922 in Nogales, AZ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Irascible, demanding, bullying, and probably a genius, Charles Mingus cut himself a uniquely iconoclastic path through jazz in the middle of the 20th century, creating a legacy that became universally lauded only after he was no longer around to bug people. As a bassist, he knew few peers, blessed with a powerful tone and pulsating sense of rhythm, capable of elevating the instrument into the front line of a band. But had he been just a string player, few would know his name today. Rather, he was...
Full Bio