Charles 'Baron' Mingus, West Coast, 1945-49

November 13, 2007 | Format: MP3

$8.99
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2:50
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3:06
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3:10
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3:07
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2:56
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2:51
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2:57
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3:06
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2:44
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3:17
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3:07
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2:54
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3:18
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3:02
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3:19
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2:54
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3:32
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2:26
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2:37
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2:41
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2:52
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2:43
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4:05
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8:23

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: January 4, 2008
  • Label: UPTOWN JAZZ
  • Copyright: 2008 UPTOWN JAZZ
  • Total Length: 1:17:57
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0012FB2YU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,952 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ron Frankl on March 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By madamemusico on July 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This excellent compilation gives us most of the sides made by Charles Mingus under his own name (and a few under others' names) during his long and often frustrating period in California, the 1940s. The reason I only gave it four stars is that, while some of the music is indeed superb and up to his normal high level, we also hear him struggling with compromises to commercialism (such as four takes of a dog of a tune, "Baby Take a Chance With Me," in which only the bridge shows traces of the Mingus style). Nevertheless, the good tracks are very good indeed and point to the more mature style to come in the early-to-mid 1950s. Even better is the booklet, with its fascinating details, rare photos and record labels that makes you feel as if you had purchased a treasure-trove instead of simply a historical jazz CD. If you love jazz and its evolution from a purely improvised music to one in which writing plays an important part, Mingus was certainly a giant in his field and this is a very important part of his story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dls31@cornell.edu on March 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This disc features the early work of one of jazz's greatest composers, Charles Mingus. The tracks offer a variety of early Mingus tunes, including a few that became Mingus standards. However, the real jewel here is the lovingly detailed 96 page liner notes, which tell you everything you ever wanted to know about early Mingus, with photos to boot: learn while you listen. Hear one of jazz's great minds begining to take shape. Catch Mingus's work back in the days when he was a relative unknown with the self-imposed moniker, Baron. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The 96-pg. booklet with the CD is worth the price alone-- it details the history of "non-cool" West Coast jazz... an absolutely fascinating read, particularly for those of us who thought the West Coast scene was all about Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan and the "cool school".... this historical recording and booklet document the early starts of so many later stars (many of which worked with Mingus again after he made it big) -- Buddy Collette, Art Pepper, Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Knepper, Britt Woodman, the neglected amazing vocalist Helen Carr, to name just a few. It "connects the dots" on how the "non-cool" jazz school got going around Central Avenue back in the day. The music has been elaborated on by other reviewers-- suffice to say it is the Rosetta Stone of Charles Mingus' compositional and performance style. We hear early snippets of ideas that would later crystallize into Mingus classics, as well as attempts at big band arrangements that are impressive if only for their level of ambition. Mingus' passion was joined by many others who also were incredibly passionate about the music, playing and writing modern music that was at a breakthrough point. Another high-quality Uptown release from Dr. Sunenblick, who is to be commended for his pursuit of detail and rare finds in the development of modern jazz in the 40's, 50's and 60's.... you will not be disappointed-- this release brings together history and musical innovation to give you a good sense of what was happening on that scene at the time....
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