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Top Customer Reviews
He begins the title cut with a 4-bar motif that's almost as compelling as "A Love Supreme." He works this motif with virtuosity, and he is especially effective in his interplay with the pianist, Max Waldron. While some may see this as a harbinger to free jazz, it's really quite accessible, and the "wild" sounds return logically to the theme. Emotionally gratifying; it's one of his best works.
The big disappointment here is "A Foggy Day (in San Francisco)." Mingus places various urban sound effects, which "The Penguin Guide to Jazz" calls superficially jokey." To me, it's just simply annoying. The repeated taxi horn sounds, etc. are just done too often. Were it not for the overall quality of the other music, I'd take away a * from this CD. Foggy Day does feature some nice sax work (Jackie McLean, J.R. Monterose), swinging bass, and some whistle blowing a la 70's and 80's funk. (Was Parliament listening?).
"Profile of Jackie" is a brief (3:07) mood piece, McLean nicely interpolates "Chelsea Bridge" and his playing is soulful and sharp. It's a beautiful ballad with nice comping by Mingus, and Willie Jones' deft touch on drums.
Love Chant is the longest piece here (14:56) and, I think, is overlooked in the Mingus discography. There's some very progressive bass work propelling an initially slightly cool jazz/modal sound. The first third features interesting percussive effects, effective abstractions on the piano, and mellow tones on the horns.Read more ›
The album's four tracks (about forty minutes of music) are each classics in their own right-- three Mingus originals and one Gershwin standard ("A Foggy Day"). All four feature fantastic arrangements, in particular the Gershwin piece that finds Mingus at his most inventive-- tenor sax fog horns, alto siren wails, scratching basses, slide whistles and so on. But in between these excursions is a fantastic swing and a monster bass solo. But as good as this is, its probably the title track that's best known-- a difficult, start-stop rhythmic piece with bizarre tempo changes and fierce group improvisation, its justifiably considered one of the greats in Mingus' catalog. The remaining two tracks ("Profile of Jackie" and "Love Chant") are no slouches either-- the former features a brilliant, wailing theme stated on alto, the latter starts as a rolling piano ballad before breaking into a fierce swing for the solo sections.
In all, a great album of Mingus' music. I'd start with "Mingus Ah Um", but this may be where to look next. Essential.
Years later, it STILL has that same effect on me, only now I can get my brain around it!
The epic length title cut is a 3-part musical depiction of the rise and fall of a fictitious species of human. It's amazing to me how Mingus and his chosen musicians were able to convey so much vivid emotion and narrative with just sounds and no visuals or words.
"A Foggy Day--" lightens the mood a bit with the musicians producing sirens, foghorns, taxi horns, groaning boats and much more, some may find it annoying but this Owl actually finds it oddly charming in this particular instance.
"Portrait of Jackie" is a very brief but very potent vehicle for Jackie McLean to spin forth his unique alto sound and beautiful melody lines.
"Love Chant" can STILL hold me in rapt attention between its insistent low-register piano figure by Mal Waldron and the horns alternating playful and somber lines, with WIllie Jones just playing his butt off
All throughout, Mingus himself asserts his simultaneously gruff and humourous muse through his bass, NOBODY sounded like him before or since.
Want a good place to start with Mingus, I highly recommend this!
Just one complaint, BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL ABSTRACT COVER ART!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm an avid fan of everything Mingus ever wrote or performed and this is the album that started it all. Read morePublished on August 24, 2013 by Mike Tarrani
I received the item very soon and in perfect condition.Is a very good album that i
listened many yers ago, so, i'm not surprised by his quality. All is O.K.
I'd been collecting Mingus on CD for a few years, and each time I bought another CD, I would say, "Yeah, that's good stuff, but somehow not the Mingus that fascinated me when I was... Read morePublished on April 15, 2011 by Gene Barnes
I started to thoroughly appreciate and love jazz music in the far '71 by listening to this record and a "best" collection by John Coltrane including the wonderful "My Favourite... Read morePublished on June 21, 2010 by Guglielmo Cecchini
This review refers to the import version of P.E., which is an album recreation with a 50's expressionist painting on the cover and the original liner notes by Charles Mingus. Read morePublished on October 27, 2009 by M. Peathree
Probably no other bassist played as big a role as Charles Mingus did in helping shape modern jazz, and probably no other recording of Mingus defines his jazz quite the way this... Read morePublished on May 4, 2008 by Eric Sedensky
A Mingus fan forever, and I catch the new Mingus groups at the Iridium or Dizzy's in NYC often. Never can get enough of his compositions and the sounds of The Mingus Big Band,... Read morePublished on July 1, 2007 by Carl C
For those struggling to "connect" with jazz, coming from a pop music sensibility (where one listens for lyrics and melody instead of texture and interplay, etc. Read morePublished on May 24, 2007 by E. E. Kuersten