Bassist Charles Mingus was largely inactive in music during 1966-69. This CD finds Mingus leading a new sextet comprised of veteran alumni (altoist Charles McPherson, pianist Jaki Byard and drummer Dannie Richmond) and two newcomers (trumpeter Eddie Preston and Bobby Jones on tenor). The music, two new songs ("The Man Who Never Sleeps" and "O.P.") and a remake of "Orange Was the Color of Her Dress," is enjoyable although not particularly innovative; it does have some exciting moments.
Reissue. Features the latest remastering. Includes a Japanese description, lyrics. Features original cover artwork. A pivotal album in the career of Charles Mingus – one that really has him honing his sound, and reaching for that trademark mix of modernism and raw emotion that set a whole generation on fire! The album's a lot more freewheeling than other Mingus material from the time – although still a bit more compact than the Atlantic or Columbia sides – and the group's staffed with key early interpreters of Charles' vision – including John LaPorta on alto, Teo Macero on tenor and baritone, Thad Jones on trumpet, Clem DeRosa on drums, and Jackson Wiley on cello – an instrument that really helps shade in some of the darker corners of the tunes. Titles include great early originals like "Four Hands", "Minor Intrusion", "Thrice Upon A Theme", and "The Spur Of The Moment" – plus his great take on "Stormy Weather", which is a bit stormier than most!
Recorded in New York in 1957 (though not released until 1962), Tijuana Moods was, according to Mingus himself, "the best album I ever made." The music is a vigorous stew of Mexican rhythms and sophisticated post-Ellington arrangements, further invigorated by the soloing of trumpeter Clarence Shaw, trombonist Jimmy Knepper, and, particularly, saxophonist Shafi Hadi. Mingus's vision of Tijuana was clearly sensual, the music evoking strippers, frenetic street scenes, and heart-broken lovers. Making use of suitelike thematic material and various forms of counterpoint, the group sounds much larger than it is, and points toward Mingus's later experiments with form.
Wonderfully sweet work from trumpeter Charlie Shavers – a set that has Shavers blowing on ballads over larger orchestrations – in a style that's really our favorite side of his music! Charlie's horn already has a long legacy by the time of this record – a slightly mature style that sounds wonderfully as he drifts magically over string-heavy backings from Sy Oliver – in a mode that's warm and lush, yet also beautifully soulful, and manages to really personalize the familiar tunes in the set. Titles include "Stella By Starlight", "Ill Wind", "Stormy Weather", "Out Of Nowhere", "Stardust", and "I Cover The Waterfront".
Of all the titles in the Impulse! 2 on 1 series, this volume may be the very finest. It pairs two indisputable classic Charles Mingus titles – both of which have endured for nearly 50 years – that were cut during the same year. While The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady was recorded on January 20, 1963, the recording that ended up as Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus was begun that very day, but not finished until September. The former album is rightly regarded as one of (if not the) Mingus' masterpieces for its use of colors, tonalities, expansive harmonies, and the juxtaposition of numerous aspects of the jazz tradition – from Ellingtonian swing to hard bop, to West Coast and new-thing jazz – employing a vocal chorus, and even Latin and flamenco flourishes in a single conceptual work played by an 11-piece orchestra.
An excellent budget compilation of the wonderful Bethlehem Records label - what a roster of artists they had. Very good sound too. The Bethlehem label focused on jazz releases, and this set collects some great examples of jazz–vocally and instrumentally–between the years 1958-62. One look at the artists on this 60 track 2 CD set shows how many fine artists released music on the label. Like other collections from One Day Music, there's no booklet, only a short paragraph about the label and a few of the featured artists. The digitally remastered sound is good overall within the limits of recording styles of the era.