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Charles Mingus – Mingus Dynasty (1959)

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Charles Mingus – Mingus Dynasty (1959)

1. Slop 6:14  	  
2. Diane 7:28 	  
3. Song With Orange 6:47 	  
4. Gunslinging Bird 5:12 	  
5. Things Ain't What They Used To Be 7:35 	  
6. Far Wells, Mill Valley 6:11 	  
7. New Now Know How 4:12 	  
8. Mood Indigo 8:12 	  
9. Put Me In That Dungeon 2:51 	  
10. Strollin' 4:33

Seymour Barab - Cello
Maurice Brown - Cello
Teddy Charles - Vibraphone
Theodore Cohen - Vibraphone, Vocals
Don Ellis - Trumpet
Booker Ervin - Sax (Tenor), Saxophone
Benny Golson - Sax (Tenor), Saxophone
John Handy - Sax (Alto), Saxophone
Roland Hanna - Piano,
Jimmy Knepper - Trombone,
Charles Mingus - Bass
Jerome Richardson - Flute, Sax (Baritone), Saxophone
Dannie Richmond - Drums
Dick Williams - Trumpet


Mingus Ah Um catapulted Charles Mingus from a much-discussed semi-underground figure to a near-universally accepted and acclaimed leader in modern jazz. Perhaps that's why his Columbia follow-up, Mingus Dynasty, is often overlooked in his canon -- it's lost in the shadow of its legendary predecessor, both because of that album's achievement and the fact that it's just a notch below the uppermost echelon of Mingus' work. Having said that, Mingus Dynasty is still an excellent album -- in fact, it's a testament to just how high a level Mingus was working on that an album of this caliber could have gotten lost in the shuffle. There's a definite soundtrack quality to a great deal of the music here, and indeed the majority of Mingus' originals here were composed for film and television scores and an expanded, nine- to ten-piece group. On some pieces, Mingus refines and reworks territory he'd previously hit upon. "Slop," for example, is another gospel-inflected 6/8 stormer, composed for a TV production that requested a piece similar to "Better Get It in Your Soul." The ferocious "Gunslinging Bird" follows a similar pattern, and it's the same piece whose full title -- "If Charlie Parker Were a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats" -- is given elsewhere. There are a couple of numbers from the Ellington songbook that both feature cellos -- "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and a fantastic, eight-minute "Mood Indigo" -- and a couple of pieces that rely on the even more tightly orchestrated approach of Mingus' pre-Pithecanthropus Erectus days -- "Far Wells, Mill Valley" and the atonal but surprisingly tender and melodic "Diane." The CD reissue of Mingus Dynasty -- like that of its predecessor -- restores the full-length versions of some songs that had portions of solos edited for time on the original LP release. ---Steve Huey, Rovi

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 13 August 2014 16:41)


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