3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The best value Mingus sets out there, 21 Jun 2013
Charles Mingus one of the most important and enjoyable jazz talents to have worked in the 1950s and 1960s. Although when top 100 lists come out several of his albums feature high up these lists he is probably not nearly as well known or listened to as other talents such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Dave Brubeck but for those like me who seek out and play his albums, after a little perseverance everything else just does not seem quite as enjoyable or full of energy as Mingus at his best. And to be honest even when he is not at his very best he is consistently entertaining and interesting.
There are quite a few different Mingus sets of albums out there so it is hard to know which sets to go for but I would strongly recommend this series as the best group of sets (with its other 2 companion volumes).
The one downside with this series is that you basically get the tracks and that is it - you need to do some detective work with the internet to work out which albums you are getting. This does not take that long though but as the different albums have very different feels it is worth doing. Overall you are getting 9 albums for £4. Of these albums The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is definitely one of his strongest although this album wont be for everyone's tastes.
Tracks 1-9 Mingus Dynasty - A great album that does not get the attention of Ah UM etc but it is superb and well worth having in your collection
Tracks 10-17 Pre Bird/ Mingus Revisited - I have only played the album a few times but have enjoyed it so far
Tracks 18-21 Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus - Another excellent album which features the sublime Eric Dolphy on Alto Sax. This is freer and looser than some of his other works and makes a great contrast. I was particularly interested in hearing Fables of Faubus with the lyrics Mingus had wanted on the Ah Um version (but the record company persuaded him to leave out). Great listening and I will keep coming back to this album.
Tracks 22-24 Mingus!Another great album with Eric Dolphy
Tracks 25-31 Oh Yeah - I love Mingus as a base player but on this album he has passed these duties on to someone else and is instead focusing on playing the piano and leading the band. Roland Kirk features on this album and it is a hugely lively and entertaining album
Tracks 32 - 28 live show, appears to be a recording of his infamous Town Hall Concert
Tracks 39 - 43 Tijuana Moods - One of his most loved and highly rated albums - I have only played it through once or twice but look forward to giving this album much more play time.
44-50 Duke Ellington Money Jungle featuring Mingus - yet to play this but again a highly thought of album
51-54 The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady - This is Mingus with a great band and one of my favorite of his albums. A jazz ballet score is this closest and simplest way I can think to describe this album. Where as much jazz starts with something that could be a pop song or a show tune or a blues number and transforms it into something different this is very different and owes more of a debt to classical music. Hugely enjoyable and involving but many people I have played this to have not connected with it so it is not for everyone.
Overall this is great value. The second volume in this series is a touch more expensive but features Ah Um and Blues and Roots which are two of his most popular albums and it well worth getting too.