West Coast: 1945-1949

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
This anthology collects a number of obscure 78s by Charles Mingus, many of which have not been reissued since they were originally released during the 1940s. Many of the vocal features are fairly traditional ballads, and Mingus was by no means an inventive lyricist, but it is the strong solos by the musicians within these tracks and the often rather progressive arrangements even if their execution is not always perfect that generally merit the most attention. One notable exception is Helen Carr's performance on the standard "Say It Isn't So," which opens with a superb bass solo by Mingus. Carr's sultry vocal is also accompanied by her then-husband Donn Trenner on piano; ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
This anthology collects a number of obscure 78s by Charles Mingus, many of which have not been reissued since they were originally released during the 1940s. Many of the vocal features are fairly traditional ballads, and Mingus was by no means an inventive lyricist, but it is the strong solos by the musicians within these tracks and the often rather progressive arrangements even if their execution is not always perfect that generally merit the most attention. One notable exception is Helen Carr's performance on the standard "Say It Isn't So," which opens with a superb bass solo by Mingus. Carr's sultry vocal is also accompanied by her then-husband Donn Trenner on piano; tragically, her only other recordings prior to her premature death were two records for Bethlehem. Among the instrumental tracks, "Shuffle Bass Boogie" is a lively 12-bar blues featuring Mingus at the forefront and fine solos by saxophonists Lucky Thompson and Willie Smith two of the bigger names among the cast of lesser-known players. Buddy Collette's "Bedspread" is a mid-tempo swinger that is obviously influenced by Duke Ellington, and features some choice solos, especially by tenor saxophonist William "Brother" Woodman and the composer on alto sax. The exotic "Mingus Fingers," originally written by Mingus for Lionel Hampton, showcases Mingus in a boppish solo. Herb Caro, who died at 22, is heard on baritone sax on a big-band version of Mingus' "Story of Love" and on tenor sax in a later remake, which also features Eric Dolphy on alto sax and Russ Freeman on piano. Among the many other musicians heard on this CD are Roy Porter, Art Pepper, Richard Wyands, and Red Callender. Andrew Homzy's thorough liner notes and the many period photographs included provide additional insight into the early career of Charles Mingus. Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/2/2001
  • Label: Uptown Jazz
  • UPC: 026198274825
  • Catalog Number: 2748
  • Sales rank: 102,326

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charles Mingus Primary Artist, Bass, Piano, scat, Dialogue
Buddy Childers Trumpet
Buddy Collette Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Eric Dolphy Clarinet, Flute, Alto Saxophone
Russ Freeman Piano
Jimmy Knepper Trombone
Art Pepper Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Willie Smith Alto Saxophone
Lucky Thompson Tenor Saxophone
Richard Wyands Piano
Helen Carr Vocals
Britt Woodman Trombone
Wilbert Barranco Piano
John Berger Percussion, Drums
Jimmy Bunn Piano
Red Callender Bass
Henry Coker Trombone
John Coppola Trumpet
Maxwell Davis Tenor Saxophone
Donn Trenner Piano
Hobart Dotson Trumpet
Karl George Trumpet
Jewell L. Grant Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Bob Mosley Piano
Gene Porter Clarinet, Baritone
Roy Porter Drums
Eddie Preston Trumpet
Allen Smith Trumpet
Don Smith Tenor Saxophone
Chuck Thompson Drums
Cal Tjader Drums
Lee Young Drums
Andre Peele Trumpet
John Anderson Trumpet
William Woodman Jr. Tenor Saxophone, Baritone
Claude Trenier Vocals
Warren Thompson Drums
Lady Will Carr Piano
N.R. "Nat" Bates Trumpet
Herb Caro Baritone
Haig Eshow Trombone
Herb Gayle Vocals
Bud Hooven Alto Saxophone
Alex Megyesy Tenor Saxophone
Bob Lowry Trombone
Bob Olney Clarinet, Flute, Alto Saxophone
Dante Perfumo Flute
Everett Pettis Vocals
Marty Smith Trombone
Buddy Harper Guitar
Technical Credits
Irving Berlin Composer
Buddy Collette Composer
Charles Mingus Composer
M.D. Producer
Johnny Burke Composer
Chuck Nessa Producer
Jesse Cryor Composer
J.A. Griffin Composer
Robert E. Sunenblick Producer, Liner Notes
Arthur Johnston Composer
Andrew Homzy Liner Notes
Harry Link Composer
Jack Strachey Composer
Holt Marvell Composer
Herb Caro Composer
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ultra Rare Early Recordings From Charles Mingus

    Composer/bassist/bandleader arrived in New York in the early Fifties after stints with Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo, seemingly a multi-talented and fully-formed musician. Unknown to most was that the musician had a long career in Los Angeles bands dating back to the early Forties. Remarkably, the many recordings that Mingus made in L.A. in the mid-Forties have not been reissued, at least until this historic collection. Given the minuscule size of the record companies for which he recorded, perhaps it's a miracle that these sides survived at all. Mingus led his own group on most of these sessions, which featured mostly originals compositions. Amazingly, Mingus was already composing unusually complex and ambitious works that reflected some of the harmonic development of the then-current bebop movement, yet the music itself cannot be classified as bebop. Instead, Mingus seems to be exploring the implications that bebop harmonies could have on jazz composition. Tadd Dameron and Miles Davis, among others, would pursue similar ideas in the late Forties, but Mingus, as usual, seems to be moving in his own individual direction. Given Mingus' musical background, his individualistic approach to jazz composition is hardly surprising. Classically trained, Mingus was writing classical/jazz hybrids even as a teenager. In a more racially tolerant era, he would almost certainly have pursued a career as a classical cellist or composer. Fortunately, jazz gave him a forum to pursue his musical aspirations. These seminal recordings are an intriguing peak at his ability to wed jazz harmonies, instrumentation and rhythms to classically-influenced musical forms. His ambitions were enormous, perhaps only exceeded by Duke Ellington among jazz musicians. If Mingus could be accused of inconsistency in his music, he could never be accused of complacency. That said, these early works are not the equal of his classic recordings of the mid to late Fifties. Some of these tracks feature vocalists, in an obvious attempt at a hit record, while other numbers are interesting experiments at best. Still, it's a revelation to hear so many elements of Mingus' later style already at work in his music. Every serious fan of Charles Mingus will want to hear these recordings, and the compilers of this set have done a magnificent job. The CD comes with an extraordinary booklet.

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