Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus
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||II B.S.||Charles Mingus||4:48||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||I X Love||Charles Mingus||7:41||Album Only||View in iTunes|
||Celia||Charles Mingus||6:14||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Mood Indigo||Charles Mingus||4:45||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Better Git It In Your Soul||Charles Mingus||6:30||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Theme for Lester Young (Goodbye Pork Pie Hat)||Charles Mingus||5:51||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Hora Decubitus||Charles Mingus||4:43||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Freedom||Charles Mingus||5:10||$0.99||View in iTunes|
Having completed what he (and many critics) regarded as his masterwork in The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Charles Mingus' next sessions for Impulse found him looking back over a long and fruitful career. Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus is sort of a "greatest hits revisited" record, as the bassist revamps or tinkers with some of his best-known works. The titles are altered as well — "II B.S." is basically "Haitian Fight Song" (this is the version used in the late-'90s car commercial); "Theme for Lester Young" is "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"; "Better Get Hit in Your Soul" adds a new ending, but just one letter to the title; "Hora Decubitus" is a growling overhaul of "E's Flat Ah's Flat Too"; and "I X Love" modifies "Nouroog," which was part of "Open Letter to Duke." There's also a cover of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo," leaving just one new composition, "Celia." Which naturally leads to the question: With the ostensible shortage of ideas, what exactly makes this a significant Mingus effort? The answer is that the 11-piece bands assembled here (slightly different for the two separate recording sessions) are among Mingus' finest, featuring some of the key personnel (Eric Dolphy, pianist Jaki Byard) that would make up the legendary quintet/sextet with which Mingus toured Europe in 1964. And they simply burn, blasting through versions that equal and often surpass the originals — which is, of course, no small feat. This was Mingus' last major statement for quite some time, and aside from a solo piano album and a series of live recordings from the 1964 tour, also his last album until 1970. It closes out the most productive and significant chapter of his career, and one of the most fertile, inventive hot streaks of any composer in jazz history.
A steal at this price
This album is serving as my introduction to Mingus and I am only sad that I didn't check him out years ago. This album is an excellent recording - you can hear every subtlety of his bass - and is inexpensive to boot. Mingus certainly lives up to his reputation as an outstanding composer on this album, and every musician in his ensemble gets a chance to shine yet not at the expense of the song itself. Great stuff.
This was my first Mingus experience, and it stands as one my all time favorite albums. "I X Love" is my favorite song on the album. When I hear an oboe in jazz, I'm immediately enthralled. That section, with the muted trumpets in the background, is of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. The last 30 seconds of the song is unbelievably gorgeous. "Better get hit in yo' soul", may not be the fastest 6/8 ever recorded, but to Mingus' credit, it's probably the fastest 6/8 that still swings that hard. "Hora Decubitus" starts with one of the coolest bass riffs. "Freedom" is a very eerie song, reminiscient of "strange fruit". Worst review, probably. But, nevertheless, this is an album worth owning, and I agree that this price is a steal.
II B.S. is decades ahead of its time
Do yourself a favor and listen to this over and over
Born: April 22, 1922 in Nogales, AZ
Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s