Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus is an album by jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus, recorded in 1960 and released in 1961. The quartet of Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Ted Curson and Dannie Richmond constituted Mingus’s core working band at the time, and had been performing the material on this album for weeks at The Showplace in New York. To recreate this atmosphere, Mingus introduces the songs as if he were speaking to the audience, even admonishing them to not applaud or rattle their glasses.
The album was recorded in October 1960 in New York for Nat Hentoff’s label Candid. Mingus usually recorded on major labels like Columbia and Atlantic, but was given more freedom on Hentoff’s independent label.
The album is part of The Penguin Guide to Jazz ‘s “Core Collection” (Wikipedia).
“Charles Mingus has a fascinating way of offering music that is grounded in tradition while remaining startlingly original. The freshness of a disc like Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus, has the effect of rendering much of what passes for jazz as tedious. The band is small for Mingus, and includes Eric Dolphy on alto saxophone and bass clarinet, Ted Curson on trumpet, and Dannie Richmond on drums. It would be one of Dolphy and Curson’s last recording dates with the artist, and they seem determined to go all out for it. The leader’s bassline kicks off “Folk Forms No. 1,” followed by Dolphy outlining the melody, and then joined by Curson. A simple riff develops into a lively New Orleans funeral march that’s developed for 12 minutes. “Original Faubus Fables” is serious in intent — a political attack on segregation governor Faubus — but Mingus and Richmond’s singing is difficult to listen to with a straight face. Still, this doesn’t distract from the wonderful music. Again and again, the elasticity of the sound is fascinating, at once spacious with the bass and drums balanced against the brass and then noisy, with the horns wailing and crying. The last two pieces, “What Love?” and the outrageously titled “All the Things You Could Be by Now if Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother,” are much looser, bordering on free jazz. The album accomplishes what the best of Mingus accomplishes: the perfect tension between jazz played as an ensemble and jazz played as totally free.” – Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr./AllMusic
All compositions by Charles Mingus
“Folk Forms, No. 1” – 13:08
“Original Faubus Fables” – 9:19
“What Love?” – 15:23
“All the Things You Could Be by Now If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother” – 8:33
Charles Mingus – bass
Ted Curson – trumpet
Eric Dolphy – alto saxophone and bass clarinet
Dannie Richmond – drums
Recorded: October 20, 1960
Studio Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, New York City
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