CHARLES MINGUS Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Album · 1963 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
js
“Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus” was Charles Mingus’ last studio album for quite a while and found him looking back over a very fruitful period in his life and re-recording some major pieces from that period. Having just recorded his extremely ambitious “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady”, you get the feeling that Mingus just wanted to blow off some steam with this album and forgo new material in favor of improving the old and just having a fun jam session with some of his favorite musicians. Although there is only one new tune on here (“Celia”), Mingus and his crew did not check their creativity at the door, quite the contrary, all of these new arrangements of old Mingus tunes are bursting with energy and creativity and likewise are often christened with new titles. For instance, “II B.S.” is “Haitian Fight Song” modernized by replacing its original blues changes with repetitions of the main fighting riff.

It’s the creativity of the ensemble work that makes this album stand out. There are two different groups on here, but they share many players and both have an uncanny ability to merge intuitively. This is brought out the most on ballads like “I X Love” and “Theme for Lester Young” ("Goodby Pork Pie Hat”), where the members trade off backing phrases that smear across the bar lines and create shifting tone colors that sound fresh with every replay. There are many great soloists on “Mingus, Mingus”, but honorable mention goes to Charles Mariano, whose slippery tonality mixes well with Mingus’ sliding ensemble sound, and Jaki Byard whose piano work often acts as a glue for all the player’s disparate voices. On album closer, “Hora Decubitus”, Eric Dolphy makes a grand entrance with a hair raising solo, you can tell he is going for the grand slam, and except for a few stumbles, he gets awfully close.

Some have criticized this album for its lack of new material. Probably the best way to see “Mingus, Mingus” is as a sort of “live” album played in the studio. These tracks have some of the most creative ensemble work you will hear in the world of jazz.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
1 year ago
Yeah, almost aggressively so? Especially 'Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul' & the opener, raw. Love the description of them as playing it live in the studio too.
js wrote:
1 year ago
I definitely prefer these versions, much more swagger, confidence, creativity and looseness.
1 year ago
Great review, John - I love this album, I think I even prefer a fair few of these versions over the originals.

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Post Bop
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
'Out to Lunch!' Avant-Garde Jazz
ERIC DOLPHY
Buy this album from our partners
Giant Steps Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Embrace Me Vocal Jazz
ANTONIA BENNETT
Buy this album from MMA partners
Somethin' Good Jazz Related RnB
MARK MEADOWS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Live Post-Fusion Contemporary
PAUL WILLIAMSON (TRUMPET)
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Monash Sessions Post Bop
ENRICO RAVA
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Free Jazz MP3 download/stream

New Jazz Online Videos

Theme for Jessica
ENRICO RAVA
js· 15 hours ago
EPK Talisman Sammy Figueroa e Glaucia Nasser
SAMMY FIGUEROA
js· 15 hours ago
Zanussi 5 live in Coimbra
PER ZANUSSI
js· 17 hours ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Share this site
Follow us