Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
The composer and bass player Charles Mingus recorded East Coasting for Bethlehem in 1957, in between such classics as Tijuana Moods (RCA) and Mingus Ah Um (Columbia). In addition to featuring an early version of "Celia," a... more »
The composer and bass player Charles Mingus recorded East Coasting for Bethlehem in 1957, in between such classics as Tijuana Moods (RCA) and Mingus Ah Um (Columbia). In addition to featuring an early version of "Celia," along with some numbers he never recorded again, East Coasting is notable for the presence of pianist Bill Evans, who briefly worked for Mingus before joining Miles Davis for the landmark Kind Of Blue.
The Mighty Mingus
Jim Newsom | Norfolk, VA | 06/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Mingus was one of the great jazz composers and bassists. His career began with stints in the bands of Kid Ory and Louis Armstrong in the early `40s when he was barely out of his teens. He went on to become a monster in the jazz world, both as a musician and as a larger-than-life personality known for his anger at racial injustice and his one-man war with the music industry.
His 1959 masterpiece, Mingus Ah Um, is an essential in any jazz collection, and Pithecanthropus Erectus, Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus and The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady are also required listening. East Coasting, recorded in August, 1957, is not as well known, but its resurrection as part of Shout! Factory's reissue program of classic albums from the catalog of the long defunct Bethlehem record label has its share of masterful moments, compositionally and in its arrangements, that should bring it a deserved reevaluation and overdue recognition.
Many of the standard Mingus musical tricks are on display here, from the finely crafted melodic statements to the free-flowing group improvisations. "Celia" foreshadows "Self Portrait in Three Colors" on Mingus Ah Um, the title track cooks with fine-tuned bop precision, and "West Coast Ghost" purrs with echoes of Ellington but with that cross-horn interplay so distinctive to the bassist's writing. The opening harmonies of "Conversation" are almost Oliver Nelson-ish, but devolve soon enough into the trademark phrase trading commonplace in Mingus' music.
The sextet lineup includes Mingus stalwarts Jimmy Knepper on trombone and Dannie Richmond behind the drums, while the piano chair is occupied by Bill Evans just months before he joined Miles Davis for what would be a seminal but short lived partnership ultimately yielding Kind of Blue. --Jim Newsom
Originally published in Port Folio Weekly - January 10, 2006
Copyright 2006 Port Folio Weekly. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission."