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Let My Children Hear Music

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brian Olewnick
On the original LP issued by Columbia, Mingus thanked producer Teo Macero for "his untiring efforts in producing the best album I have ever made." From his deathbed in Mexico in 1979 he sent a message to Sy Johnson (who was responsible for many of the arrangements on the album), saying that Let My Children Hear Music was the record he liked most from his career. Although Mingus' small-group recordings are the ones most often cited as his premier works, this album does, in fact, rank at the top of his oeuvre and compares favorably with the finest large-ensemble jazz recordings by anyone, including Ellington. The pieces had been brewing over the years, one from as far back...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brian Olewnick
On the original LP issued by Columbia, Mingus thanked producer Teo Macero for "his untiring efforts in producing the best album I have ever made." From his deathbed in Mexico in 1979 he sent a message to Sy Johnson (who was responsible for many of the arrangements on the album), saying that Let My Children Hear Music was the record he liked most from his career. Although Mingus' small-group recordings are the ones most often cited as his premier works, this album does, in fact, rank at the top of his oeuvre and compares favorably with the finest large-ensemble jazz recordings by anyone, including Ellington. The pieces had been brewing over the years, one from as far back as 1939, and had been given more or less threadbare performances on occasion, but this was his first chance to record them with a sizable, well-rehearsed orchestra. Still, there were difficulties, both in the recording and afterward. The exact personnel is sketchy, largely due to contractual issues, several arrangers were imported to paste things together, making the true authorship of some passages questionable, and Macero (as he did with various Miles Davis projects) edited freely and sometimes noticeably. The listener will happily put aside all quibbles, however, when the music is heard. From the opening, irresistible swing of "The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jiveass Slippers" to the swirling depths of "The I of Hurricane Sue," these songs are some of the most glorious, imaginative, and full of life ever recorded. Each piece has its own strengths, but special mention should be made of two. "Adagio Ma Non Troppo" is based entirely on a piano improvisation played by Mingus in 1964 and issued on Mingus Plays Piano. Its logical structure, playful nature, and crystalline moments of beauty would be astounding in a polished composition; the fact that it was originally improvised is almost unbelievable. "Hobo Ho," a holy-roller powerhouse featuring the impassioned tenor of James Moody, reaches an incredible fever pitch, the backing horns volleying riff after riff at the soloists, the entire composition teetering right on the edge of total chaos. Let My Children Hear Music is a towering achievement and a must for any serious jazz fan. The CD issue includes one track, "Taurus in the Arena of Life," not on the original LP, but unfortunately gives only snippets from the Mingus essay that accompanied the album. That essay, covering enormous territory, reads like an inspired Mingus bass solo and should be sought out by interested listeners. One can't recommend this album highly enough.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/1/2008
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 886972417226
  • Catalog Number: 724172
  • Sales rank: 42,926

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charles Mingus Primary Artist, Bass, Conductor
Eddie Bert Trombone
Ron Carter Bass
Richard Davis Bass
Bobby Jones Clarinet, Tenor Horn, Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Knepper Trombone
Hubert Laws Flute
Charles McPherson Alto Saxophone
James Moody Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Bucky Pizzarelli Guitar
Dannie Richmond Drums
Marvin Stamm Trumpet
Julius Watkins French Horn
Howard Johnson Tuba
Hal McKusick Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Joe Wilder Trumpet
Danny Bank Baritone Saxophone
Patricia H. Bown Piano
Jaki Byard Piano
Roland Hanna Piano
Lonnie Hillyer Trumpet
Milt Hinton Bass
Jack Jennings Tuba
Phil Kraus Percussion
Teo Macero Conductor, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
George Marge Flute, Multiple Reeds
Charles McCracken Cello
Jimmy Nottingham Trumpet
Alan Raph Conductor
Savarese Bass
Brooks Tillotson French Horn
Snooky Young Trumpet
Bobby Lee Jones Tenor Saxophone
Sy Johnson Conductor
Sydney Johnson Conductor
Technical Credits
Charles Mingus Arranger, Score
Bob Stewart Contributor
Warren Covington Contributor
Ernie Royal Contributor
Joe Temperley Contributor
Francis X Contributor
Raymond Beckenstein Contributor
Sonny Brown Contributor
James Buffington Contributor
Al DeRisi Contributor
Harvey Estrin Contributor
John Foster Contributor
Hank Freeman Contributor
Kenneth Fricker Contributor
Paul Ingraham Contributor
Ed Lee Paintings
John Leone Contributor
Teo Macero Producer
Homer Mensch Contributor
Hub Miller Arranger
Romeo Penque Contributor
Seymour Red Press Contributor
Alan Raph Arranger, Orchestration
Albert Regni Contributor
John A. Schaefer Contributor
Wallace Shapiro Contributor
Daniel Trimboli Contributor
Vic Anesini Engineer
George Kanzler Liner Notes
Sy Johnson Arranger, Orchestration
Sydney Johnson Arranger
Warren Smith Contributor
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