Charles Mingus ‎– Mingus

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Mingus is an album by jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus. The album was recorded in October and November 1960 in New York for Nat Hentoff’s Candid label.

At this time Mingus was working regularly with a piano-less quartet featuring Eric Dolphy, Ted Curson and Dannie Richmond, as heard on the Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus album also recorded in November 1960. The Mingus album features one track, “Stormy Weather”, recorded by the same quartet, plus two tracks recorded by a larger group featuring piano and additional horns.

The track “M.D.M.” weaves together the themes from three compositions: Duke Ellington’s “Main Stem”, Thelonious Monk’s “Straight, No Chaser” and Mingus’s own “Fifty-First Street Blues”. The track “Lock ‘Em Up” was inspired by an apparently involuntary period of treatment Mingus underwent at New York’s Bellevue psychiatric facility.(

AllMusic Review by Steve Huey:
Having completed what he (and many critics) regarded as his masterwork in The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Charles Mingus’ next sessions for Impulse found him looking back over a long and fruitful career. Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus is sort of a “greatest hits revisited” record, as the bassist revamps or tinkers with some of his best-known works. The titles are altered as well — “II B.S.” is basically “Haitian Fight Song” (this is the version used in the late-’90s car commercial); “Theme for Lester Young” is “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”; “Better Get Hit in Your Soul” adds a new ending, but just one letter to the title; “Hora Decubitus” is a growling overhaul of “E’s Flat Ah’s Flat Too”; and “I X Love” modifies “Nouroog,” which was part of “Open Letter to Duke.” There’s also a cover of Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo,” leaving just one new composition, “Celia.” Which naturally leads to the question: With the ostensible shortage of ideas, what exactly makes this a significant Mingus effort? The answer is that the 11-piece bands assembled here (slightly different for the two separate recording sessions) are among Mingus’ finest, featuring some of the key personnel (Eric Dolphy, pianist Jaki Byard) that would make up the legendary quintet/sextet with which Mingus toured Europe in 1964. And they simply burn, blasting through versions that equal and often surpass the originals — which is, of course, no small feat. This was Mingus’ last major statement for quite some time, and aside from a solo piano album and a series of live recordings from the 1964 tour, also his last album until 1970. It closes out the most productive and significant chapter of his career, and one of the most fertile, inventive hot streaks of any composer in jazz history (

Track listing:
“M.D.M. (Monk, Duke and Me)” – 19:49
“Stormy Weather”* – 13:23
“Lock ‘Em Up (Hellview of Bellevue)” – 6:40
All compositions by Charles Mingus except * by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler

Charles Mingus – bass
Ted Curson, Lonnie Hillyer– trumpet
Jimmy Knepper, Britt Woodman – trombone
Charles McPherson – alto saxophone
Eric Dolphy – alto saxophone, flute and bass clarinet
Booker Ervin – tenor saxophone
Nico Bunink, Paul Bley – piano
Dannie Richmond – drums

Released: 1961
Recorded: 20 October and 11 November 1960 at Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, New York City
Length: 39:52
Label: Candid CJM-8021/CJS-9021