CHARLES MINGUS — Mingus Three (aka The Wild Bass aka Mingus Moods aka C.M. Trio) (review)

CHARLES MINGUS — Mingus Three (aka The Wild Bass aka Mingus Moods aka C.M. Trio) album cover Album · 1957 · Hard Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
1957 was a very productive year for Charles Mingus, a year that found him knocking out three very ambitious albums, “The Clown”, “East Coasting” and “Duke’s Choice”, plus one more that was a little more on the fun side, “Trio”, with Hampton Hawes on piano and Dannie Richmond on drums. This album is a bit different from the more experimental works that Mingus was producing at this time, more of a jam session really, “Trio” finds Mingus on Hampton Hawes’ turf; tough gritty hard bop blues played with a jazz man’s finesse and creativity. This almost comes across as more a Hawes album than a Mingus one, but then there are enough bass solos to remind us that it is Mingus’ date.

There are four standards on board, plus two Mingus originals and one by Hawes. Of the two Mingus originals, “Back Home Blues” is a straight up blues that almost sounds more Otis Spann, than jazz. His “Dizzy Moods”, on the other hand, features some of the rhythmic change ups that Mingus had been experimenting with. Hawe’s “Hamp’s New Blues” may have just been a group jam, but it’s more jazz oriented approach to the blues has a lot of energy and is one of the album’s best cuts. All of the standards are treated imaginatively, with Dannie Richmond’s Latin fusion beat transforming the sometimes wore out “Summertime”. After six blues oriented numbers, “Trio” closes with the ballad, “Laura”, which is handled beautifully by Hawes.

“Trio” is a great sample of late 50s hard bop piano bordering on soul jazz and should easily appeal to fans of Hampton Hawes and his many followers. Mingus fans may want this too, just know that this one is more about Mingus blowing off some steam in a bluesy jam session
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