Mingus

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
In the months prior to the passing of legendary jazz bassist Charles Mingus, Joni Mitchell had been personally summoned by the bop pioneer to collaborate on a musical version of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets. The project would entail Mitchell to condense the text for Mingus to score instrumentally. He planned on utilizing a full orchestra, as well as the more traditional guitar and bass. They would accompany Mitchell's vocals and the narration of selected portions of the text. After a few weeks of consideration, Mitchell's reaction was that "[she]'d rather condense the bible." Mingus then bestowed Mitchell with six melodies -- "Joni I" through "Joni VI" -- penned ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
In the months prior to the passing of legendary jazz bassist Charles Mingus, Joni Mitchell had been personally summoned by the bop pioneer to collaborate on a musical version of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets. The project would entail Mitchell to condense the text for Mingus to score instrumentally. He planned on utilizing a full orchestra, as well as the more traditional guitar and bass. They would accompany Mitchell's vocals and the narration of selected portions of the text. After a few weeks of consideration, Mitchell's reaction was that "[she]'d rather condense the bible." Mingus then bestowed Mitchell with six melodies -- "Joni I" through "Joni VI" -- penned specifically for her. Mitchell spent a few weeks with Mingus -- who was totally immobilized from amyotropic lateral sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig's Disease -- during the spring of 1978. Their partnership advanced the half-dozen tunes. More importantly, it shook Mitchell from a three-month long writer's block/drought -- yielding two of her best late-'70s compositions: "God Must Be a Boogie Man" and the revisitation and completion of a track she'd been wood-shedding, now titled "The Wolf That Lives in Lindsey." Incidentally, the former piece was inspired by the opening chapters of Mingus' autobiography, Beneath the Underdog. Initial recordings during Mitchell's stay with Mingus in New York City produced several interesting experimental sessions with the likes of Stanley Clarke bass, Jan Hammer keyboards, John McLaughlin guitar, Gerry Mulligan baritone sax, and Tony Williams drums. A few of these recordings -- while rumored to have been lost, destroyed, or made otherwise unavailable -- were leaked into the trading community in the late '90s. Arguably, Mitchell could not have chosen any finer musicians than the sextet she ultimately incorporated into this work. The luminaries include Herbie Hancock electric piano, Wayne Shorter soprano sax, Jaco Pastorious bass/horn arrangements, Peter Erskine drums, Don Alias congas, and Emil Richards percussion. Sprinkled amongst these soulfully jazzy pieces are five "raps," or aural snapshots of the time Mitchell and Mingus spent together. Sadly, Charles Mingus passed before he was able to listen to this timeless and ageless paean to his remarkable contributions to bop and free jazz.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/1990
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 075596055727
  • Catalog Number: 505
  • Sales rank: 23,601

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Happy Birthday 1975 (0:57)
  2. 2 God Must Be a Boogie Man (4:33)
  3. 3 Funeral (1:07)
  4. 4 A Chair in the Sky (6:40)
  5. 5 The Wolf That Lives in Lindsey (6:33)
  6. 6 I's a Muggin' (0:07)
  7. 7 Sweet Sucker Dance (8:06)
  8. 8 Coin in the Pocket (Rap) (0:11)
  9. 9 The Dry Cleaner from des Moines (3:22)
  10. 10 Lucky (Rap) (0:03)
  11. 11 Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (5:41)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joni Mitchell Primary Artist, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Peter Erskine Drums
Herbie Hancock Keyboards, Electric Piano
Charles Mingus Vocals
Jaco Pastorius Bass, Horn
Wayne Shorter Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Don Alias Conductor, Conga
Emil Richards Percussion
Technical Credits
Joni Mitchell Composer, Paintings
Charles Mingus Composer
Jaco Pastorius Arranger, Horn Arrangements
Bernie Grundman Mastering
Henry Lewy Engineer
Glen Christensen Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted July 21, 2009

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