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Complete Album Collection [Box set]

Charles Mingus Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 32.88 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 July 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 10
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Sony Music Classical
  • ASIN: B007Y2W49W
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,799 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a Master. 6 Sep 2012
By ACB (swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
There is no doubting Mingus's genius and position in jazz and musical development. This collection of 10 albums covers his Columbia and RCA output with alternate takes. There are gaps covered by his other recording labels, now easily and cheaply obtainable. Here we have Mingus with monumental recordings. As with reviewing other greats, there is so much that has been written and said.

'MINGUS AH UM': with John Handy(as,cl), Booker Ervin(ts), Dannie Richmond(d) as stalwarts of the 1959 period provided 'Better Get It Into Your Soul', 'Jelly Roll', 'Open Letter to the Duke' and more. The Opener starts with a Mingus bass solo followed by by Jimmy Knepper's plaintive trombone. The preaching alto of Hadi(as) and Ervin's gospel replies are passionately charged. The gospel shouts add to a classic track. 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' was recorded shortly after Lester Young's death. Tremendously moving, with Handy's solo appropriately movingly slow. 'Bird Calls' takes off at contrasting bebop pace. The rest is equally majestic.

'MINGUS DYNASTY': More sublime band interplay. Jimmy Knepper(tb) with the above reedmen produced 'Things Ain't What They Should Be' and 'Mood Indigo' and 'Gunslinging Bird' (Parker?). Mingus's affection for Ellington ran through his career.'Put me in that Dungeon' was apparently Lester Young's call for a bass solo. Mingus is more prominent on 'Better get it into'.

'TIJUANA MOODS': Another favourite. Original sleeve notes quote Mingus as saying 'This is The Best Record I Ever Made'. 1957: Top-class band (Knepper, Richmond, Clarence Shaw(tp), Shafi Hadi as (Curtis Porter), produced 'Dizzy's Mood', and 'Flamingo' along with an extended (uncut) version of 'Ysabel's Table Dance'. Alternate takes a bonus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great opportunity 30 Aug 2012
Format:Audio CD
I've had almost all of these for many years, but if you have heard something by Mingus that you like don't hold back - this is a great bargain and a chance to acquire some (not all - Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is on Impulse, and is essential)of the best music by one of the 20th century's greatest outlaw composers and players.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I am three,this is ten 19 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD
All the usual suspects,plus the remarkable ,somewhat autobiographical, masterpiece Epitaph,never fully realised in Mingus' lifetime. The AMG gave this mere 2 star rating,why I cannot say,because it is GREAT,an all star,magnificent reconstruction of a problematical piece(Mingus gave instructions to band members that were like "play it like you did at such and such...)so Gunther Schuller had to work hard to get it right,and it is so right it just explodes off the discs.Get it for this,get it for the rest,just "Get Hit"(in your soul).
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mingus selection 3 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you want a selection of Charles Mingus' output then this is a good set to start with - nice recordings.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelations 8 Dec 2012
By Robert P. Inverarity - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It's uncharacteristic of me to write a review without listening to everything contained first, but I've heard more than enough to justify the purchase price.

This is some of the best money I've ever spent on music... and buying music is my major vice. I was outrageously ignorant of Mingus before, and can't stop listening to this box. It's not that it's all perfect music - in the included liner notes, Mingus's widow lashes out against the outtakes included on this set (though even she grudgingly compliments the inclusion of rarities "Revelations (First Movement)", wonderful and one-of-a-kind Mingus/Brubeck duo (!) "Non-Sectarian Blues", and the complete version of "A Colloquial Dream" [later officially recorded and released as "Scenes in the City"]).

The "Friends in Concert" disc is a mess, but perhaps not hopeless. Alternate Takes has blurry, bootleg-looking packaging - so far I haven't listened to any tracks except the Sue-approved ones. But Tijuana Moods, Mingus Ah Um, Dynasty, Let My Children Hear Music, and Epitaph are full of riches that I will be admiring for a long time. The liner notes by Sue Mingus are funny and insightful - clearly her book is necessary reading. The fairly nice packaging, replicas of the LP sleeves, allow the CDs to slide out nicely without scraping - though that means they will simply fall out if you carry the sleeves the wrong way, so be careful!

Shame on me for taking so long to get to this music. And shame on you if you pass up this opportunity.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A golden opportunity. Don't miss this, whatever you do. 2 Aug 2012
By Storylover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If by some chance you have arrived here, at a collection of Mingus albums, your decision has already been made. Mingus's shifting genius, both spiritual and sublime hovers over all these albums; presenting 10 Mingus discs together in one collection allows a pretty incredible overview of this seminally important giant in modern Jazz. But don't let accolades and proclamations of greatness stop you--this music is not stodgy or solemn--it is just good. Charles Mingus was a genius, but a touchable genius who's music gives lasting satisfaction and pleasure. Don't miss this collection if you have never heard him before. Ifyou have some of these albums, then the price is still good enough to use this as a way to round out your collection. A stunning display of greatness that I cannot recommend highly enough.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PRICY BUT INDISPENSABLE 11 Feb 2013
By David Keymer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
CD 1-2: Tijuana Moods (1957) -CM, b, voc; Clarence Shaw, tpt; Jimmy Knepper, tbn; Shafi Hadi, as, ts; Bill Triglia, p; Dannie Richmond, dr; Frankie Dunlop, perc; Ysabel Morel, voc; Lonnie Elder, narr.

CD 3: Mingus Ah Um (1959) -CM, b; Booker Ervin, Shafi Hadi, ts; John Handy, as; Jimmy Knepper, Willie Dennis, tbn; Horace Parlan, p; Dannie Richmond, dr.

CD 4: Mingus Dynasty (1960) -CM, b; Richard Williams, Don Ellis, tpt; Booker Ervin, Benny Golson, ts; John Handy, as; Jimmy Knepper, tbn; Teddy Charles, vib; Roland Hanna, p; Dannie Richmond, dr

CD 5: Alternate Takes (1957-62) -takes 1-6 from Ah Um and Dynasty albums; take 7 (Revelations) -CM, b; Louis Mucci, Art Farmer, tpt; John LaPorta, as; Hal McKusick, ts; Teo Macero, bari s; Jimmy Knepper, tbn; Jimmy Buffington, Fr hn; Manuel Zegler, bassoon; Robert DiDomenica, flt; Bill Evans, p; Barry Galbraith, guit; Teddy Charles, vib; Fred Zimmerman, b; Margaret Ross, harp; Teddy Sommer, dr; Gunther Schuller, cond. Take 8 (Non-Sectarian Blues) CM, b; Dave Brubeck, p.

CD 6: Let My Children Hear Music (1971) -CM, b, narr; full orch.

CD 7-8: CM and Friends in Concert (1972) -CM, b; Jon Faddis, Eddie Preston, Lonnie Hillyer, tpt; Gene Ammons, ts; Bobby Jones, ts, clari; George Dorsey, Lee Konitz, Charles McPherson, as; Rich Perry, as, flt; Gerry Mulligan, bari s; Howard Johnson, bari s, b clari; James Moody, flt; Eddie Bert, ten tbn; Charon Moe, Dick Berg, Fr hn; Bob Stewart, tuba; John Foster, Randy Weston, p; Milt Hinton, b; Joe Chambers, dr; Honey Gordon, voc; Bill Cosby, narr, emcee.

CD 9-10: Epitaph (1989) -Gunther Schuller, cond; Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis, Lew Soloff, Jack Walrath, Joe Wilder, Snooky Young, tpt; George Adams, ts; Phil Bodner, ts, flt, oboe, Eng hn; John Handy, Jerome Richardson, as, clari; Bobby Watson, as, clari, sop s, flt; Roger Rosenberg, bari s, clari, flt, picc; Gary Smulyan, bari s, clari; Michael Rabinowitz, bassoon, b clari; Dale Kleps, contrabass clari, b clari; Eddie Bert, Sam Burtis, Paul Faulise, Urbie Green, David Taylor, Britt Woodman, tbn; John Hicks, Roland Hanna, p; Reggie Johnson, Edwin Schuller, b; John Abercrombie, guit; Karl Berger, vib; Victor Lewis, dr; Daniel Druckman, perc.

Three great albums from the fertile period 1957-59 -Tijuana Moods, Mingus Ah Um and Mingus Dynasty- plus an album and a half of alternate cuts taken from them- and a fourth album of some interest -Let My Children Hear Music. That's four and a half albums of glorious music padded out to ten albums in this monster set. The other albums included aren't bad -almost nothing Mingus recorded is devoid of interest- but they're decidedly second drawer, and the posthumously recorded Epitaph (1989), a set of Mingus compositions for large ensemble, conducted by Gunther Schuller, almost sinks under its own weight, so unwieldy is it. (But even in this ponderous album, there are moments of startling beauty and power. Mingus could write!)

For all the praise Mingus got in his lifetime -and it was a lot!-- he didn't get enough.

As a composer and arranger, as the leader of small and middle-sized bands, and as bass player, he was incomparable and sui generis, the greatest jazz composer and arranger since Jelly Roll Morton and Ellington. And those two names deserve to be bracketed with his because Mingus, more than any other composer, melded the music of his predecessors from the earliest days of jazz up through the swing era and into and beyond bop into one powerful, intensely lyrical music. Listening to a Mingus album was often a symposium on the history and richness of jazz. His compositions were often deliberately self-referential, from gospel songs ("Better Git It In Your Soul" in Ah Um and Epitaph, "Slop" on Dynasty, "Wednesday Evening Prayer Meeting" in Atlantic's great Blues and Roots), a comic but loving nod toward Morton ("Jelly Roll" on Ah Um and again on Blues and Roots), his paean for Lester Young ("Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" on Ah Um), Ellington ballads (Mercer Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and "Mood Indigo" on Dynasty) to bop and beyond (Gil Fuller's and Dizzy Gillespie's "Ool-ya-koo" on Mingus and Friends "Bird Calls" and "Gunslinging Bird" on, respectively, Ah Um and Dynasty).

The first thing one notes is what a great leader Mingus was. To start with, he was a consummate bass player, who moved with ease from walking bass to obbligato and offbeat figures, even strumming, all the time leading musicians along the path he wanted them to follow. Nobody ever played walking bass better than Mingus. To start with, nobody had stronger hands. Nobody -maybe Charlie Haden-- brought such a rich, deep, woody sound from his instrument. Listening to him in conjunction with recordings of the other great bassists of the late forties through the sixties -Oscar Pettiford or Ray Brown, for instance--is a revelation as to how great a player Mingus was.

And nobody played so well in the tradition (he had honed his playing in the biggest of the big bands, Ellington's, and the most intimate of combos, Norvo's guitar-bass-vibes trio) and yet so idiosyncratically. Mingus's compositional mind was rich in idiosyncrasy. It's common for a Mingus tune to start in one tempo or mood and switch gears back and forth, over and over again, in the space of a few minutes. His compositions, and the performances of them, are rich in complexity. You have to keep paying attention to them or you lose track and miss nuances. There's no such thing as a `simple' ballad in Mingus's oeuvre. See for instance the interweaving in slo mo of the beautiful melody ot "All the Things You Are," as countermelody in Mingus's "Self-Portrait in Three Colors" (Ah Um) or the way the band takes off on a tear near the end of "Mood Indigo" (Dynasty).

I cut my eyeteeth on Ah Um (the first album I bought), Dynasty, and Tijuana Moods so I'm particularly fond of them. "Better Git It in Your Soul" still seems the best of Mingus's Sunday night Bible meeting songs but I appreciate "Slop" more this time: it's not a throwaway as I thought when I first heard it but rather another composition and performance in the same genre. "Boogie Stop Shuffle" and "Fables of Faubus" are still wonderful, and "Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat" is one of the great compositions, arrangements and performance in modern jazz. This time around, I understood what was at play in "Jelly Roll." "Bird Calls" is a great composition -bop on speed- but features an awful solo by pianist Horace Parlan, usually one of Mingus's better pianists. But that's what you get with Mingus -brilliance mixed with a touch of the ramshackle. I think that's what he was trying to get out of his musicians, driving them to play outside their comfort zones.
Ah Um is still a more coherent album that Dynasty but Dynasty contains longer, more `composed` pieces-notably "Diane" and "New Know, Know How"--that make sense to me now although they didn't fifty years ago. They're not my favorites but they showcase his unbelievably fertile musical imagination.

They may have released an alternate cut of "Boogie Stop Shuffle" in this set. I haven't played my vinyl album of Ah Um for years but John Handy's (Shafi Hadi's?) introductory solo on this piece doesn't play out the way I remember it. Secondly, Mingus's ballad "Strolling," with vocal by Honey Gordon (never one of my favorites) has been added to Dynasty and the piece is weak, both in lyrics and performance.

The double-album concert with "friends" is a mixed bag, some very good stuff, some not so good but still worth listening to. Bill Cosby's stiff and overly arch introductions could have been dispensed with: they add nothing to the occasion. The album does bring to light one observation about Mingus, though. His music possesses a rare ability: for all that it is often modernist, it provokes the best in conservative soloists out of swing or mainstream bop, as well as more modern players (as in his later collaborations on Candid with Dolphy). On the Friends CDs that means tenor sax giant Gene Ammons soloes shoulder to shoulder with Charles McPherson and Lonnie Hillyer, Milt Hinton alternates bass solos with Mingus, and there's room for sui generis musicians like Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz and Randy Weston to contribute their individual voices. The ensemble is unwieldy and not as well rehearsed as it could have been but it makes for interesting listening.

I have little to say about Let My Children and Epitaph. The ensembles in both are so large that it drowns the music. Of the two, Children is the better. Epitaph should have been strangled at birth, in my opinion, but, again, I don't know of any Mingus album that doesn't offer some delights.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles Mingus 20 Feb 2013
By Kim Bergenser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I just love Charles Mingus music. He never stands still - always develop and evolve, and here I got 8 CD's (6 albums) for the price of 2 regular CD's. It starts with the lovely 2CD Tijuana Moods, and is followed by his masterpiece MINGUS AH HUM. The 3rd CD is another Mingus standout - MINGUS DYNASTY. 3 more albums showing Mingus' versatility as bassist, pianoplayer and bandleader, and on top of the cake a 2CD recording one of his last compositions EPITAPH. You won't regret this purchase.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mingus on RCA/Columbia 8 Feb 2013
By Jaime - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is as complete as you can get from Mingus on RCA/Columbia, with a few bonus extras. While "Tijuana Moods" has a full dic of extras, I am sure there are many more outtakes from the other sessions buried in the vaults somewhere, but for now this is as complete as it gets. One may find it interesting to note that if you listen chronologically from the earliest to the last LP, there is a gap of a few seminal years in Mingus' musical output. That's because he was on impulse! for those years, and none of that appears here, nor do any of the Atlantic sides. Alas we will have to wait for the massive box sets from those companies, and in the meantime we can bide our time with hits awesome collection.
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