Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

422

Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um: 50th Anniversary Legacy Edition

By

Sign in to view read count
This special edition marks the 50th anniversary of bassist Charles Mingus' 1959 Columbia masterpiece, one of the great records in a year that included Miles Davis' Kind of Blue (Columbia), John Coltrane's Giant Steps (Atlantic) and Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic). The Legacy edition is a two-CD set that also includes Mingus' second Columbia record of 1959, Mingus Dynasty, as well as alternate takes. It restores portions that were edited out on the original LPs in the interests of length and generally follows the three-CD 1998 release of The Complete 1959 Columbia Recordings, omitting just three alternate takes from the Dynasty sessions.

It's extremely well-known material but no matter how often one hears it, it's impressive work, from the stunning range of textures and moods that Mingus can summon from a small group—just seven players on the Ah Um sessions—to the tumultuous energy that he and drummer Dannie Richmond can generate. Mingus celebrates many of his forebears without actually imitating them, including the classic homage to the then recently-deceased Lester Young, "Good-bye Pork Pie Hat"; the skipping two-beat syncopation of "Jelly Roll" that suggests Morton; the "Open Letter to Duke," an invocation of Mingus' principal model with a Latin beat and the expressionist "Bird Calls," which looks ahead to free jazz as much as it pays tribute to Charlie Parker.

Throughout the first disc, Mingus is well-served by his sidemen, from the elegant trombone work of Jimmy Knepper or Willie Dennis to the stylistic contrasts of the saxophonists—Booker Ervin's heated tenor, John Handy's suave refinement and the deep blues of Shafi Hadi. The compositions get denser and more ambitious on the slightly less-successful Dynasty sessions, including the occasional addition of cello parts, but it's still a major work, a composition of sublime spirit and luminous intelligence. It was just a year later that Mingus constructed hisgreatest small group—the quartet with Eric Dolphy that recorded Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus—but with Mingus Ah Um he had already made his greatest statement as a composer.

Track Listing: CD1: Better Git It In Your Soul; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat; Boogie Stop Shuffle; Self-Portrait In Three Colors; Open Letter To Duke; Bird Calls; Fables of Faubus; Pussy Cat Dues; Jelly Roll; Pedal Point Blues; GG Train; Girl of My Dreams; Bird Calls (Alternate Take]. CD2: Better Git It In Your Soul (Alternatve Take); Jelly Roll (Alternative Take); Slop; Diane; Song With Orange; Gunslinging Bird; Things Ain't What They Used To Be; Far Wells, Mill Valley; New Now, Know How; Mood Indigo; Put Me In That Dungeon; Strollin' (Nostalgia In Times Square).

Personnel: Personnel: Charles Mingus: piano, bass instrument, upright bass; Seymour Barab, Maurice Brown: cello; Jerome Richardson; flute, baritone saxophone; John Handy: clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Shafi Hadi: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Benny Golson, Booker Ervin: tenor saxophone; Richard Williams, Don Ellis: trumpet; Jimmy Knepper, Willie Dennis: trombone; Horace Parlan, Roland Hanna: piano; Teddy Charles: vibraphone; Dannie Richmond: drums.

Title: Mingus Ah Um: 50th Anniversary Legacy Edition | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Legacy Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Cycles of Animation CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Secret Passages CD/LP/Track Review Secret Passages
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Live At The Magic Triangle CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Magic Triangle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Music in the Room CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Of Light and Shadows CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Going North" CD/LP/Track Review Going North
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "ScratchBop" CD/LP/Track Review ScratchBop
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Tom Haines Live" CD/LP/Track Review Tom Haines Live
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 15, 2016

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!