Mingus Ah Um

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
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; ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/16/1999
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646551226
  • Catalog Number: 65512
  • Sales rank: 5,042

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul (7:21)
  2. 2 Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (5:42)
  3. 3 Boogie Stop Shuffle (4:59)
  4. 4 Self-Portrait in Three Colors (3:08)
  5. 5 Open Letter to Duke (5:49)
  6. 6 Bird Calls (6:18)
  7. 7 Fables of Faubus (8:13)
  8. 8 Pussy Cat Dues (9:13)
  9. 9 Jelly Roll (6:15)
  10. 10 Pedal Point Blues (6:28)
  11. 11 GG Train (4:37)
  12. 12 Girl of My Dreams (4:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charles Mingus Primary Artist, Bass, Piano
Booker Ervin Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
John Handy Clarinet, Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Jimmy Knepper Trombone
Horace Parlan Piano
Dannie Richmond Drums
John "Captain John" Handy Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Willie Dennis Trombone
Shafi Hadi Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Technical Credits
Booker Ervin Contributor
Jimmy Knepper Contributor
Horace Parlan Contributor
Michael Cuscuna Reissue Producer
Teo Macero Producer
Ray Moore Engineer
Fred Plaut Engineer
Mark Wilder Engineer, Remixing, Remastering
Brian Priestley Liner Notes
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Randall Martin Reissue Design
Rob Schwarz Remixing, Remastering
Mike Cimicata Packaging Manager
Diane Dorr Dorynek Liner Notes
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