Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Charles Mingus - Black Saint And The Sinner Lady/Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse 2-on-1) (Impulse, 2012)

The great bassist and composer Charles Mingus only recorded a few albums for the Impulse! label, but two of the finest LPs of his career are included in this re-issued 2-fer. The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady presents some of Mingus most intricate composing and arranging. Overdubbing and re-arranging parts on the fly, this brings in everything from classical music to flamenco, creating intricate, beautiful music that references Ellington, Stravinsky and everything in between. The music flows in a suite, quite unlike anything Mingus had ever done before culminating in the awesome final movement, a medley “Medley: Mode D-Trio and Group Dancers/Mode E- Single solos and Group Dance/ModeF-Group and Solo Dance” that develops over eighteen minutes of brilliant unprecedented music to a furious finale. Recorded not long after, the Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus album takes a ten piece little big band and reprises several of Mingus' most well known compositions and was recorded in January and September of 1963. Highlights are many, including the tribute “Theme for Lester Young” (aka “Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat”) and the storming uptempo swingers “II B.S.” and “Better Get Hit In Your Soul.” A beautiful ballad version of Duke Ellington’s lovely “Mood Indigo” is performed, but it really is a shame that one of Mingus’ great protest/civil rights pieces “Freedom” was cut from this re-issue due to time constraints, it was one of Mingus most potent topical statements. The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady / Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse 2-on-1) - amazon.com

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