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Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus
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In a way, speech does break out. "Original Faubus Fables," previously recorded as "Fables of Faubus" on Mingus Ah Um, gets the lyrics earlier denied it by Columbia Records. Mingus and drummer Dannie Richmond damn Arkansas's notoriously racist governor, with the bassist calling out, "Why is he so sick and ridiculous, Dannie?" Richmond and trumpeter Ted Curson are excellent players and the sheer tumult carries them to the performances of their careers. Mingus's writing often uses tension-building repeated figures, and Dolphy and Curson virtually function as reed and brass sections at times. It contributes to the illusion of a much larger group, a cauldron of unspoken pain and fresh energies that seems almost too much for any quartet to deliver.
A fifth performance from the session, an extended-band feature for Dolphy's alto on Fats Waller's "Stormy Weather," has never been included on a CD with the rest of the session. Well worth seeking out, it currently appears on Candid Dolphy. --Stuart Broomer
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This was recorded during Mingus' Jazz Workshop days. His group (Dannie Richmond, Ted Curson, & Eric Dolphy) had a regular club gig, but rather than 'perform' in the traditional sense, they would basically hold live rehearsals: try new things, experiment, learn, & grow. This particular group had been together for a while and was soon coming to an end (Dolphy was about to strike out on his own). Mingus pulled them into the studio to cut what they had been doing on wax.
Although a studio recording, Mingus treats it just like a regular Workshop club date, he even talks to the 'audience' (admonishing them, in true Mingus fashion, to please be quiet so they don't bother the band!). The opening bars of 'Folk Forms No. 1' almost have a 'here we go again...' quality. No one expected the night to go as well as it did. You can hear their enthusiasm build as the album plays, the energy level increases to stirring levels as the guys realize that they are making history here.
This album contains the definitive version of 'Fables of Faubus' (with Dannie Richmond screaming furiously at Gov. Faubus), and a fiery 'All the Things You Could Be...'. However, the crowning achievement of the date is 'What Love'. This is the track that put Eric Dolphy on the map for me.Read more ›
Fortunately, two alternatives to this CD exist. Pure Pleasure Records, whose products are distributed by Acoustic Sounds online, did their diligence and located a pristine mono master of the original recording. The LP is pressed on quiet 180-gram vinyl, and reveals the full emotional range of this unique session in the Mingus discography.
The other alternative is a 3-CD set entitled "Complete 1960 Net Hentoff Sessions" just released by one of the EU labels that are reissuing out-of-copyright jazz recordings. According to the Steve Hoffman forum, this set was likely copied from the Mosaic 3-CD box set of Mingus' Candid recordings. Amazon sells the "Nat Hentoff" set:
Complete 1960 Nat Hentoff Sessions
The "Mingus Presents Mingus" portion of Nat Hentoff 1960 set is derived from the superior mono tape.
If you love music, if you treasure the contributions of Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy, do yourself a favor and buy the Pure Pleasure Records reissue. If you already own this CD, get the LP and do an A/B comparison. The difference is astonishing.
Eric Dolphy's circular improvisation style is hear, full of sudden starts and stops in just the right places. Ted Curson's trumpet playing is just as good and in some spots, the two horns can be heard switching leads and intertwining so much that sometimes its hard to tell which is Curson and which is Dolphy.
Mingus himself obviously gets a more upfront role in this quartet than in his big band work. Some of the bass lines and solos he creates send my head bobbing and weaving.
Of course no great Mingus album is without the hard driving drums of Dannie Richmond.
As far as the actual pieces my favorite are the first two, FOLK FORMS NO. 1 and ORIGINAL FAUBUS FABLES. The former starts the album off with a bang and is more straight ahead bop style jazz than anything else on here. It is the 2nd longest piece but it goes by fast. Everyone takes a pretty even part in it as well.
ORIGINAL FAUBUS FABLES is the unrealeased version of the piece that appears on AH UM but this includes the intended vocals. A sarcastic "tribute" to racist Arkansas governor Orval Faubus who tried to prevent black students from attending the University despite federal law. Mingus and Dannie Richmond sing lines like, "Why is he so sick and ridiculous?...Dannie Richmond?" "They brain wash and teach you hate!!" the two yell. "Boo Nazi Facist Extremists!" " Governor Faubus!!" Its more something you have to hear for yourself.
WHAT LOVE takes things down a notch and is more of a ballad type piece.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
structured dissonance never sound so good... the sense of the raw energy & spirit coming together to create these special conversational moments is something rare to behold &... Read morePublished 3 months ago by msteak
Pretty good stuff. One of the better jazz bassists I've heard over the past few decades. More creative and "cool" then other typical bass riffs.Published 13 months ago by Rocky Snow
I bought this for the version of Fables of Faubus with vocals, retitled here from the mainstream label version, which would not allow Mingus to record the tune with its ironic... Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by Israel Guibbory
This is one of the best of this particular group. Outstanding! I love that fact that event though this is a studio recording the discussion among them is as it is "live. Read morePublished on April 26, 2013 by David K. Hinshaw
A very comprehensive and a good starter collection for an Mingus fan. If you're ever unsure about what Mingus albums to by, this might be all you need.Published on January 6, 2013 by Robert E. Simpson
Jazz history tells us that Mingus 's label during this era were leery of releasing his composition titled "Fables Of Faubus" due to it's uncompromising lyrics against thee... Read morePublished on December 10, 2012 by Andre S. Grindle
Charles Mingus during his lifetime bristled at his music being labeled "free jazz". However, his unique style and changes in tonality obviously were highly influential on later... Read morePublished on June 30, 2006 by directions
Charles Mingus - truly one of a kind...This album is one of his best as far as improvisation goes..Eric Dolphy and Ted Curson are on fire! Read morePublished on January 18, 2006 by Stalwart Kreinblaster
Although the sound on this CD is less than great, to give it less than 5 stars would be a crime. The performances here are fantastic. Read morePublished on September 23, 2003 by Scott Richardson