Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Charles Mingus: Mingus Three (Deluxe Edition)


Charles Mingus: Mingus Three (Deluxe Edition)


Sign in to view read count
Charles Mingus: Mingus Three (Deluxe Edition)
The 100th anniversary of the birth of the Promethean genius Charles Mingus falls on April 22, 2022—and Rhino/Parlophone are releasing a 2 x CD edition of Mingus Three (aka Trio, Jubilee, 1957) to coincide. Disc one contains the original LP, vibrantly remastered by Dominique Brethes at Flow Mastering in London. Disc two consists of six previously unreleased outtakes, recently discovered in the Parlophone tape library and mastered by Brethers; also included are two untitled blues from the same session.

Among much else, Mingus is known for his musical dialogues with bandmembers, which could be shot through with so much passion that, steered by the track titles, one can almost put them into words. Exchanges with reed player Eric Dolphy and drummer Dannie Richmond spring to mind. These conversations tended to occur in Mingus' smaller groups because, with his mid-sized ensembles, he concentrated on directing the band rather than taking solos himself.

On Mingus Three, Mingus fronts a trio with Richmond and pianist Hampton Hawes. The album is for the most part a dialogue between Mingus and Hawes, another upfront personality, with punctuation provided by Richmond (who until a year or so earlier was a tenor saxophonist, and who had been persuaded by Minugus to switch to drums). The original LP comprised four standards ("Yesterdays," "I Can't Get Started," "Summertime" and "Laura"), two Mingus originals ("Back Home Blues" and "Dizzy Moods," which is based on Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody'n' You"), and a group jam ("Hamp's New Blues"). Interestingly, Mingus recorded "Dizzy Mood" again a few weeks after the Mingus Three session, this time as part of the octet sessions for Tijuana Moods, which for some bizarre reason was not released by RCA Victor until 1962, when Mingus declared it the "best" album he had recorded.

The takes on disc two do not eclipse those chosen for the original LP, but they are strong and Mingus devotees will welcome them. "Summertime" and "Hamp's New Blues" are particularly fine. However it is the two "Untitled Blues," the first brisk, the second slower, which are the most valuable additions Mingus' discography. There is nothing conceptually remarkable about either of them, but they are performed by two masters of the form.

The accompanying booklet includes the original liner notes, contemporary photos of the musicians, and an entertaining essay from pianist and arranger Sy Johnson, who describes his on occasion tempestuous relationship with Mingus on and off the bandstand.

Tangential postscript: Mingus and Hawes wrote two of the most unflinching autobiographies in the jazz library: Beneath The Underdog: His World As Composed By Mingus (Alfred A. Knopf, 1971) and Raise Up Off Me: A Portrait Of Hampton Hawes (Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1974).

Track Listing

Disc One: Original LP: Yesterdays; Back Home Blues; I Can’t Get Started; Hamp’s New Blues; Summertime; Dizzy Moods; Laura. Disc Two: The Outtakes: Untitled Blues; Untitled Blues (Take 2); Back Home Blues (Take 6); Hamp’s New Blues (Take 4}; I Can’t Get Started (Take 1); Yesterdays (Take 2, incomplete); Dizzy Moods (Take 2); Summertime (Take 3).


Album information

Title: Mingus Three (Deluxe Edition) | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Rhino



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.