CHARLES MINGUS — The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (review)

CHARLES MINGUS — The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady album cover Album · 1963 · Progressive Big Band Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
EatThatPhonebook
10/10

"The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady" is a true milestone of music in general.

Charles Mingus is probably the most known double bass player in jazz music. The reason? Sure, his talent can be one, but probably the biggest contribution to this fame is “Black Saint”, one of the most important albums of jazz music. After listening to this, my love for jazz just got bigger.

At the time, 1963, when the album was released, it was considered pretty avant-garde and innovating what Mingus did in this album: Musically, it can be considered as a sort of Avant-Garde Jazz, but with a lot of Post Bop and especially a lot of “big Band”, meaning that they were used tons of instruments, and over ten musicians where playing. The result is a very interesting style of music, which not only has many labels, but also has many different moods; many times the music can be tense, because of some suspended and slow melodies here and there, but also fun and enjoyable in other moments. There is no doubt though, that “Black Saint” is a very atmospheric jazz album, giving those typical vibes of an old movie from the 40’s (natural reference to the Post Bop style).

The album is divided in four tracks, and in total they are six movements, usually one per track with the exception of the last song, which embraces three movements. These six movements have a lot of movements in common, in particular the main rhythm that can be heard in the first couple of minutes of the first movement. Of course there are also tons of changes between the songs: while the first song is very attached to the Post Bop side, the following track sounds more Avant-Garde, even because the song finds its skeleton in the piano, and every other instrument moves around it. The third track has still some Avant-Garde moments, and very unique ones, like the Spanish guitar, making this probably the prettiest song off the album. The last track is an eighteen-minute monster, divided like I said in the last three movements; these flow perfectly one into another, without any boring moments. The album with this closes perfectly.

“The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady” is an album that is a must for jazz listeners, a true milestone not only for the genre but also of music in general. Outstanding.
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