Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um (1959) [MFSL 2019]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 45:55 minutes | Scans included | 1,87 GB
or FLAC (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,06 GB
Genre: Jazz | Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 2208
Mingus Ah Um is a studio album by American jazz musician Charles Mingus, originally released in 1959 by Columbia Records. It was his first album recorded for Columbia. The Penguin Guide to Jazz calls this album “an extended tribute to ancestors” (and awards it one of their rare crowns), and Mingus’s musical forebears figure largely throughout.
Charles Mingus’ debut for Columbia, Mingus Ah Um is a stunning summation of the bassist’s talents and probably the best reference point for beginners. While there’s also a strong case for The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady as his best work overall, it lacks Ah Um’s immediate accessibility and brilliantly sculpted individual tunes. Mingus’ compositions and arrangements were always extremely focused, assimilating individual spontaneity into a firm consistency of mood, and that approach reaches an ultra-tight zenith on Mingus Ah Um. The band includes longtime Mingus stalwarts already well versed in his music, like saxophonists John Handy, Shafi Hadi, and Booker Ervin; trombonists Jimmy Knepper and Willie Dennis; pianist Horace Parlan; and drummer Dannie Richmond. Their razor-sharp performances tie together what may well be Mingus’ greatest, most emotionally varied set of compositions. At least three became instant classics, starting with the irrepressible spiritual exuberance of signature tune “Better Get It in Your Soul,” taken in a hard-charging 6/8 and punctuated by joyous gospel shouts. “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” is a slow, graceful elegy for Lester Young, who died not long before the sessions. The sharply contrasting “Fables of Faubus” is a savage mockery of segregationist Arkansas governor Orval Faubus, portrayed musically as a bumbling vaudeville clown (the scathing lyrics, censored by skittish executives, can be heard on Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus). The underrated “Boogie Stop Shuffle” is bursting with aggressive swing, and elsewhere there are tributes to Mingus’ most revered influences: “Open Letter to Duke” is inspired by Duke Ellington and “Jelly Roll” is an idiosyncratic yet affectionate nod to jazz’s first great composer, Jelly Roll Morton. It simply isn’t possible to single out one Mingus album as definitive, but Mingus Ah Um comes the closest.
01. Better Git It In Your Soul
02. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
03. Boogie Stop Shuffle
04. Self-Portrait In Three Colors
05. Open Letter To Duke
06. Bird Calls
07. Fables Of Faubus
08. Pussy Cat Dues
09. Jelly Roll
Charles Mingus – bass
Booker Ervin – tenor sax
John Handy – alto sax (1, 6, 7, 9), clarinet (8), tenor sax (2)
Shafi Hadi – tenor sax (2, 3, 4, 7, 8), alto sax (1, 5, 6, 9)
Willie Dennis – trombone (3, 4, 5)
Jimmy Knepper – trombone (1, 7, 8, 9)
Horace Parlan – piano
Dannie Richmond – drums
Recorded on May 5 and May 12, 1959 at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City.
Mastered by Rob LoVerde, assisted by Shawn R. Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA.