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The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady [Original recording reissued]

Charles MingusAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

Price: $17.04 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 4 Songs, 1995 $9.49  
Audio CD, Original recording reissued, 1995 $17.04  
Vinyl, 2011 $48.50  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Track A- Solo Dancer 6:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Track B- Duete Solo Dancers 6:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Track C-Group Dancers 7:22Album Only
listen  4. Medley: Mode D-Trio and Group Dancers/Mode E- Single solos and Group Dance/ModeF-Group and Solo Dance18:39Album Only

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Frequently Bought Together

The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady + Mingus Ah Um + Monk's Dream
Price for all three: $33.44

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  • Mingus Ah Um $7.00
  • Monk's Dream $9.40

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 7, 1995)
  • Original Release Date: 1986
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Grp Records
  • ASIN: B000003N81
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,025 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This 1963 recording occupies a special place in Mingus's work, his most brilliantly realized extended composition. The six-part suite is a broad canvas for the bassist's tumultuous passions, ranging from islands of serenity for solo guitar and piano to waves of contrapuntal conflict and accelerating rhythms that pull the listener into the musical psychodrama. It seems to mingle and transform both the heights and clichés of jazz orchestration, from Mingus's master, Duke Ellington, to film noir soundtracks. The result is a masterpiece of sounds and textures, from the astonishing vocal effects of the plunger-muted trumpets and trombone (seeming to speak messages just beyond the range of understanding) to the soaring romantic alto of Charlie Mariano. Boiling beneath it all are the teeming, congested rhythms of Mingus and drummer Dannie Richmond and the deep morass of tuba and baritone saxophone. This is one of the greatest works in jazz composition, and it's remarkable that Mingus dredged this much emotional power from a group of just 11 musicians. --Stuart Broomer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Mingus' Best Work... March 19, 2000
Format:Audio CD
...but by no means his most accessible. If you are new to Mingus, do not start with this one. Go for Mingus Ah Um, then Pithecanthropus Erectus or Mingus at Antibes. THEN immerse yourself in The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. By then, you will be familiar with the whole cast of characters and Mingus' revolutionary approach to musical composition. Jaki Byard's piano will sweep you away. Charlie Mariano's saxophone will leave wondering about might have beens. Dannie Richmond's skins will leave you in awe. And all of them playing together will leave you with an overriding sense of how Mingus cultivates genius in those around him. There is vast musical freedom, yet remarkable structure throughout. Robert Frost was once asked why he never wrote in free verse; he responded that he didn't feel like playing tennis with the net down. I think of Charles Mingus the same way; you often think that the music will degenerate into chaos, but it never happens (well, at least not unplanned chaos). One of the top five jazz albums ever made.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get This One Into Your Soul! May 5, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Regarded by "The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD" as "Mingus' masterpiece," this can be a challenging CD. The compositions are titled as dance pieces, and I'd love to see the album performed that way. The album is of one piece; its separation into six tracks is somewhat artificial. (Indeed, some tracks blend together without discernable separation). The opener, "Solo Dancer" features passages with soaring Coltrane-like abstraction over the usual Mingus abstract intensity mixed with lush quiet beauty. It's a brooding piece with a terrific baritone sax leading the noire way over Mingus' moving bass lines, moving to a very full arrangement and then back to the sax. Overall, it reminded me of a little of Ellington/Strayhorn effects on Chelsea Bridge.
"Duet Solo Dancers" is, again, very Ellington, and the 11 pieces in the Mingus band are so big, varied, and so "present," that it sounds more like an orchestra. Absolutely superb recording. Mingus manages, as always, to fit abstract and free-sounding expression within a swinging, coherent structure. It's an almost dizzying piece and (like the rest of the CD) an organic extension of went before.
"Group Dancers" is one of the most beautiful pieces here, with a piano-led motif that leads easily to visuals of dancers. Mingus lays back, and lets Jackie Byard' piano and Jerome Richardson and Dick Hafer's flutes tell the story. About midway through, the composition picks up some flamenco touches from guitarist Jay Berliner, then the horns (Dick Hafer, Charles Mariano, Jerome Richardson on sax, Quentin Jackson on trombone, Don Butterfield on tuba) sing out before revisiting the main theme (with dazzling work by Mingus ).
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of all time January 25, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Charles Mingus had always incorporated elements of modern avante-garde composition into his bop-esque and free-jazz/avant garde work while holding himself firmly within the jazz idiom. Here, he cast aside all the restrictions of both genres and meshed the two into an unbelievably complex, and yet emotionally and musically stunning magnum opus. Unlike Mingus' previous albums, rather than being merely a showcase for different tunes which may have had little to do with eachother melodically and structurally, this cd comprises the six movements of a symphony, and the music and ideas flow into eachother seamlessly. My favorite moment comes during the third track, "Group Dancers" when, after Mingus hints at an amazing melodic figure on the piano, the full ensemble plays it in all its glory. Anyone who loves music is missing something if he or she has never heard this milestone of melodic ingenuity.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Mingus' best work. August 17, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Heralded by many as Charles Mingus' masterwork, "Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" stands as one of his most powerful and difficult compositions. Recorded during his brief tenure on Impulse! (1963, during which Mingus turned out three of his best works), "Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" is a suite for a ballet, perhaps a representation of the tortured psyche of the composer. It is dark, haunting, and probably the most difficult work Mingus has ever done-- drawing as much from contemporary classical and the avant-garde (in both classical and jazz) as it does from jazz tradition (a healthy dose of Ellington, certainly) with an overt flamenco influence, the album sounds quite like nothing else Mingus has done-- the gospel shout sound, so prevelent in his music, is largely gone, and yet the album is uniquely and qualifiably Mingus.

Assembling an eleven piece band-- four brass (Rolf Ericson and Richard Williams on trumpet, Quentin Jackson on trombone and DOn Butterfield on tuba), three reeds (Jerome Richardson on soprano and baritone sax and flute, Dick Hafer on tenor sax and flute and Charles Mariano on alto sax) and rhythm (Jaki Byard on piano, Jay Berliner on guitar, Mingus on bass and occasionally piano, and Dannie Richmond on drums), Mingus composes in shifting moods-- delicate reeds offsetting grunting low brass, piano interludes, blues, Baroque imagery, and at times almost Cecil Taylorish arrangements. And through this, he somehow synthasizes a sound of his own, sympathetically performed by the band, in particular with Mariano really full of passion and energy. His cries and wails on "Track A" and "Track C" are nothing short of astounding (similarly, Mingus' piano intro to "Track C" is equally astonishing). But really, great performances are turned out throughout.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Mingus, get this album.
A great album from a great musician. No disappointments here.
Published 21 hours ago by K. Ruff
5.0 out of 5 stars Voodoo Jazz
This is a challenging record, that took a few spins to get my head around. The ideas and sonic textures explored in this seminal-Mingus bass masterpiece are truly profound. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Pablo Critton
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended!!
Quality merchandise, fast shipping, smooth transaction. Recommended!!!
Published 1 month ago by SaxManiac1
5.0 out of 5 stars crazy, mad
I so much love the crazy, mad performances on this disk. One of my favorite modern jazz releases of all time! Read more
Published 2 months ago by john100
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemplative noise
This is a great jazz album some consider the best, many will agree or disagree which is fine. I think it comes close but not as good as Coltrane's A Love Supreme or Miles Davis... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Trezonator
5.0 out of 5 stars jazz music for people who hate jazz
If you normally dislike the hotel lobby/elevator music that is classified as jazz music, but sounds like randomized saxophone, then you might want to consider listening to this... Read more
Published 8 months ago by manfrengensen
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sound by AP; warped vinyl by QRP
This LP sounds great. This Analogue Productions version is an all analogue cut using the best gear and high quality mastering from the original master tape. Read more
Published 13 months ago by T. Waetzig
5.0 out of 5 stars don't be afraid
This is a brilliant and beautiful album. The only thing I have to add to the reviews is that, in my opinion, this album is utterly approachable and accessible, even to somebody who... Read more
Published 22 months ago by SF Musician
5.0 out of 5 stars a long time listener who rediscovered this piece
I have read all these reviews and I have my own. Unique but my own. I grew up in Southern California and was totally a suffer beach kid without any appreciation of music other... Read more
Published on July 16, 2012 by Doc Balco
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a boiling witch's cauldron
Black Saint is a melting pot of complex rhythms and blues. At any given moment you can hear a piano playing its own special solo, drummers creating random rhythms, and horns... Read more
Published on May 11, 2012 by Keith Yong
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Topic From this Discussion
Is there anything else like "The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady"?
maybe i was too quick too respond. true, there is nothing 'like' this album. Seems to me if there aren't any albums you like to listen to other than BSSL, especially if you don't really enjoy the abulms you mentioned, you're probably not a hardcore jazz fan. however, there is something important... Read More
Oct 28, 2009 by A. Ives |  See all 8 posts
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