Recent listening, current

Saturday, June 22, 2013

110. Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (1963)

Mingus, the master orchestrator. Mingus the composer. Mingus the performer. He's got so many credits on this album that I marvel at how it doesn't sound one bit overrun by his presence, yet it's distinctly his product. The music swings with a loose and careening vibrancy that is electrified with spontaneity and invention. With just 10 pieces, his arrangements sound as quiet as a quartet or as powerful as a big band. Its performers lend the air of familiarity, dashing in and out of ensemble jams like "Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul" or blending sublimely as in the steamy rendition of "Mood Indigo." Mingus listeners will immediately sense the presence of old friends, because many of the tracks are new treatments of preexisting Mingus tunes. I'll let you figure what is what. As for soloists, I really enjoy Charlie Mariano (bias alert, I just got Blue Camel so I'm on a bit of a bender) or the shambling Walter Perkins on drums.

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