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Slipped Disc: Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um

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Monday, Jan 4, 2010
Albums that missed our Top 20 Re-Issues of 2009 list, but at least one of our writers loves.
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Charles Mingus

Mingus Ah Um (50th Anniversary Legacy Edition)

(Sony/Legacy)

1959 remains, arguably, the most important year in the history of jazz music. Among all-time classic efforts from Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus released his masterpiece, Mingus Ah Um. To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of this seminal session, we were blessed with Mingus Ah Um: Legacy Edition (which includes a remaster of the original, along with bonus tracks and the entirety of the other album Mingus cut for Columbia in 1959, Mingus Dynasty). 1959 signified the year that Mingus, after considerable dues paying, fully matured as a musician and composer. Mingus Ah Um is a virtual encyclopedia of the jazz music made at that point in the 20th century, which means it celebrates the sounds and feelings of America. This is the one Mingus release that has a little bit of everything, from ebullient statements of purpose (“Better Git It in Your Soul”) to soulful tributes (“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”, “Jelly Roll”) to Mingus’s inimitable sociopolitical smackdowns (“Fables of Faubus”). This reissue is at once an essential reminder for fans and an imperative introduction for novices; it is the ultimate testament to the miracle that was Charles Mingus, one of the immortal voices in American music.



Related Articles
11 Apr 2014
Oh Lord, don't let them drop that atomic bomb on me. At least not until we've had a chance to talk about a 1962 masterpiece by composer Charles Mingus. Counterbalance delivers the jazz this week.
30 Jan 2014
This set, issued originally in 1955, may not be one of Mingus's classics. It just misses that rarified air, but it's an important foundation for other, better regarded records from later in his career.
By John F. Goodman
8 Aug 2013
Charles Mingus is among jazz’s greatest composers and perhaps its most talented bass player. During his lifetime he had a lot to say about the place of jazz in music history and American culture and much more. Mingus speaks, we listen.
8 Jul 2009
Mingus Ah Um sounds like the 20th Century: it is a self-portrait of a man who helped define the direction of post-bop jazz, commenting on the country that created him.
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