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Mingus Mingus Mingus

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio, Cassette, June 5, 1989
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette (June 5, 1989)
  • Label: Universal Music & VI
  • ASIN: B00000ENKP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,625,899 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Most of the works on this album are alternate versions of songs that he had recorded elsewhere. Due to the various label requirements, and the various whims of the artist, most of them are renamed.
Haitian Fight Song => II B.S.
Better Get It In Your Soul => Better Get Hit In Your Soul
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat => Theme For Lester Young
E's Flat Ah's Flat Too => Hora Decubus
What makes these versions unique, and worth having on their own, is the 9 piece band. Mingus was experimenting with the form and structure of the group, and was using some of his existing material to see what he could do with a larger group. The results are dramatic -- faster pacing, higher highs, lower lows.
Nothing here is as great an achievement as "The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady" or "Mingus Ah Um", but the new arrangements are quite fun and perfectly enjoyable.
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Format: Audio CD
The only criticism that I see on this fine collection, is that Mingus had previously recorded the majority of these tunes. Some say that the original versions of these songs included on various Columbia and Atlantic recordings are superior. If that's the case, then these versions come in second in a photo finish (Mingus re-recorded some of these because he was unhappy with previous edits). The ensembles that Mingus leads here play fast and loose on the uptempo and show great sensitivity on the ballads. Anyone interested in checking out the great Charles Mingus would be well advised to start here. Those already familiar with his work, also will not be disappointed, even if they already own other versions of these songs.
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By Curt on February 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Mingus X5 is second only to "The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" on my list of favorite Mingus recordings. Now I have to admit that most of the songs heard here are old favorites that were previously released on other labels but were given aliases for this recording date, but I think it is well worth the money. "Hora Decubitus" is just an alias for "E's Flat Ah's Flat Too" which was released under Mingus by Atlantic three years earlier on Blues and Roots. "Theme for Lester Young" also released as "Good Bye Pork Pie Hat" (this time 4 years earlier) With both songs and with the rest of the previously released material, The better work is heard here on Mingus X5. Better sound, better solo efforts, and better arrangements! Evidence of Mingus's constant reevaluation of himself, ability to inspire his sidemen, and his constant search, like all great artists, for perfection in their work.
I normally don't like to give away details, but "Freedom" the last track on Mingus X5 is introduced with a beautiful poem read, and assume written by Mingus over the soft hum of his sidemen. Then the leader joins them in singing! Immediately after which Dannie(Drums)starts swingn' and the rest of the group just explodes!!!
I would like to take this time to point out Impulse Records. Every artist that has recorded with Impulse always seems to have a bit more fire, a bit more rockn', and a bit more soul. The sidemen sound more inspired and there always seems to be a mystical energy that comes with listening to Impulse records.
1 Comment 8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
MingusX5, an energetic and richly arranged contribution to the Charles Mingus catalog, should come with a warning. The titles listed for this album are deceptive: "II B.S." is very similar to "Haitian Fight Song," "Mood Indigo," as you may already know, is a Duke Ellington composition, "Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul" is a faster variation of "Better Get It in Your Soul" with a new ending, "Theme for Lester Young" is an alternate title for "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," and "Hora Decubitus" sounds really familiar, like something off of Mingus Ah Um, but I can't place what it is. All of these pieces, except "Mood Indigo," are available elsewhere in varying forms, though, from what I can tell, this is a pattern among Mingus' recordings. That leaves only "I X Love" and "Celia" as surprises (unless they too are recorded elsewhere, but I have not seen or heard them).
All of these tracks are also available on a budget priced introduction to Mingus on the MCA label, which is about $4-5 cheaper than this album, and it includes the first section of "Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" and, I believe, a piece from Mingus' solo piano album. However, there is a bonus track on Mingus X5, "Freedom," which is not listed above and is not on the original album or budget priced CD, and is a rousing contribution to the album as a whole and to the Mingus Catalog.
3 Comments 17 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
"Hora Decubitus" is similar to "E's Flat Ah's Flat Too" from Blues and Roots, not something from Mingus Ah Um (although there may be a piece on Mingus Ah Um that is similar as well, but I haven't listened to Mingus Ah Um lately). Mingus performing "Mood Indigo" is also available on Mingus Dynasty as a different recording and possibly different arrangement. Therefore, Mingus X5 includes only two new pieces (or three if you count the bonus track) for the listener. I recommend it for the Mingus fan for its altered arrangements and performances, but for an introduction, I recommend Blues and Roots, Pithecantropus Erectus, Mingus Ah Um or Mingus Dynasty instead.
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