Search - Charles Mingus :: Pre-Bird

Charles Mingus
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

This odd 1960 session falls historically between the astounding late-1959 work Charles Mingus did for Columbia Records and his slimmed-down pianoless quartet that made the classic Mingus at Antibes. Pre Bird and the Columb...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Charles Mingus
Title: Pre-Bird
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Release Date: 4/27/1999
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731453863620, 0731453863620

This odd 1960 session falls historically between the astounding late-1959 work Charles Mingus did for Columbia Records and his slimmed-down pianoless quartet that made the classic Mingus at Antibes. Pre Bird and the Columbia material share some common elements, most obviously the large ensemble. Mingus devoted these sessions to his pre-1940s material and other works from the prebop era, and two of the best-played works are from Ellington's pen. Both "Take the 'A' Train" and "Do Nothin' Till You hear from Me" are taken at a distinctly Mingus pace, with Ellington's polyphony heightened and the tension increased considerably by the more-pouncing band here. "Prayer for Passive Resistance" shows the same pounce, as does "Mingus Fingus No. 2," and both sound looser and more free-associative in the soloing than the Columbia work. Two additional highlights are "Weird Nightmare" and the third-stream-colored "Half-Mast Inhibition" (conducted by Gunther Schuller), which keens and squirrels about just off-center from either tonality or atonality. As for the band, it's got all the usual suspects and more: Eric Dolphy and Booker Ervin are the reed section's towering talents, and as always, Dannie Richmond keeps the drummed time. For Mingus fans, this is a welcome issue. --Andrew Bartlett

CD Reviews

Smorgasbord of excellent vintage Mingus
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 06/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This 24Bit remastered version of the original Mercury Stereo album of the same name recorded on May 24th and 25th 1960 in New York does justice to the excellent music contained in it. Although by CD standards the programme is short - 35minutes and 7 seconds - there is not a wasted note on it. There are six originals by the leader, together with one by Billy Strayhorn, "Take the A Train" with an interpolation of "Exactly Like You" by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, and one by Bob Russell and Duke Ellington " Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me" with an Interpolation of " I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills,J. Redmond and H. Remo. Both the Ellington tracks are performed with a verve, panache, indeed, joy, that I'm sure the master himself would approved. Mr Booker Ervin is a highlight on the first, playing with such swagger and power, it IS a joy to hear. The latter begins with a characteristic bass opening by Mr Mingus that propels the number along at quite a pace. Again Mr Ervin features. Interestingly, two great pianists,Paul Bley and Roland Hanna alternating, are featured on five, including these tracks. Some of their pianistic punctuations are quite stunning. But it is in the originals that Mingus is perversely most Duke like. For example, "Bemoanable Lady" sounds more Duke than Duke, and strangely, the solo by the great Mr Eric Dolphy, takes on Mr Hodges and adds to it in inventiveness and passion. One track, "Half-Mast Inhibition" is conducted by Gunther Schuller. Another highlight for me is the last track which features the glorious cello sound of Mr Charlie McCracken. The Orchestration on this rivals the work on Pithecanthropus Erectus. Great music. The programme seems to have the notion of showing a number of sides of the talents of Mr Mingus - vocalist Lorraine Cousins appears on two tracks - with a variety of approaches to the music. It is five star music undoubtedly. The packaging is attractive but unreadable."
Absolutely necessary album; fills a space nothing else does.
Ian Muldoon | 07/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first heard "Prayer for Passive Resistance" on the jukebox in the student center of a small Kansas religious college 40 years ago. A jukebox! with Mingus on it! I put so many quarters in for repeat play the jocks unplugged the box. But I bought the album. "Prayer for Passive Resistance" has Mingus improvising a hymn for the lunch-counter movement. "Take the A-Train" is amazingly loose and swinging. "Eclipse" and "Weird Nightmare" are vocals worthy of Schoenberg. Yeah, I know this is gush & not review, but I've been looking for this gem on CS and here it is. Yow!"