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Pithecanthropus Erectus [Import]

Charles MingusAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Price: $11.37 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Pithecanthropus Erectus + Blues & Roots + Mingus Ah Um
Price for all three: $31.40

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  • Blues & Roots $13.04
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Rhino/Wea UK
  • ASIN: B00006H679
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,114 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Pithecanthropus Erectus
2. A Foggy Day
3. Profile of Jackie
4. Love Chant

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mingus� Playing Leads the Way February 15, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This is a showcase for Mingus the bassist as well as Mingus the composer. His sound is recorded extremely well, and his technique, sense of rhythm, and improvisation are just astonishing. I've never heard his bass so well before.
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.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mingus' first masterpiece. July 22, 2005
Format:Audio CD
"Pithecanthropus Erectus" is in the opinion of many (and rightly so), the first Charles Mingus masterpiece. It is on this record I really felt the "Mingus sound" began to coalesce-- that sort of playful jazz filtered through gospel and a big sense of humor sound he had, generously supported by a band that was more than capable of bringing his vision to life (including Jackie McLean blowing alto like he's got something to prove and pianist Mal Waldron).

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.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music, poorly mastered CD February 1, 2001
Format:Audio CD
While the musical content of this album is excellent, the mastering of this CD is, unfortunately, quite poor. The volume level of the CD is suprisingly low for a compact disk, perticulerly in light of the number of wonderfully remastered CD editions avalable for other Mingus albums on Atlantic, such as Oh Yeah!, and Blues and Roots. Pithecanthropus Erectus is a great record that sorly needs a more acceptable sonic representation than the current Atlantic edition (ATL 81456) is capable of. It would deffinitally be worth the effort of checking for a newer version of this album before purchesing this one, which is quite simply not up to par with the standerds set by other recent jazz re-issues.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I'll never forget hearing this album at age 6, even for my newly forming mind it was one of the most overwhelming, strange, sometimes scary but ALWAYS interesting and compelling experiences, between the melody lines that stick in your head for days, the wit, the dynamics and everything else.

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!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the album that hooked me
I'm an avid fan of everything Mingus ever wrote or performed and this is the album that started it all. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mike Tarrani
5.0 out of 5 stars pitecantropus erectus, charles mingus
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.
Published on December 8, 2011 by nicolas
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground Zero Mingus
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 more
Published on April 15, 2011 by Gene Barnes
5.0 out of 5 stars A milestone for all jazz fans
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 more
Published on June 21, 2010 by Guglielmo Cecchini
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected connections....
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 more
Published on October 27, 2009 by M. Peathree
4.0 out of 5 stars There's a Mingus among us!
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 more
Published on May 4, 2008 by Eric C. Sedensky
5.0 out of 5 stars I played the vinyl to death when I first heard this. Wish they would...
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 more
Published on July 1, 2007 by Carl C
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant loopy jazz for muppets
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 more
Published on May 24, 2007 by E. E. Kuersten
4.0 out of 5 stars Mingus' Classic Updated For a Better Look and Sound!
This mini-lp replica sleeve is a real treat for fans as it very faithfully copies in great detail the original lp design. Read more
Published on May 19, 2007 by Frederick Baptist
4.0 out of 5 stars Bring back the original cover art!
Seriously - does anybody besides me miss this album's original cover? You know, that abstrafct painting? I do! Anyway, onto the album... Read more
Published on March 13, 2007 by finulanu
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