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on 7 January 2010
This is the supreme Mingus release.Although I already owned the Ah Um album,this Legacy Edition is packed with so many other goodies it makes this unmissable. I never thoughtthat in my 70s I couldstill get so much enjoyment from music I thought I knew so well. I still havent worked my way through everything on this set. This is not music to be hurried,but to be enjoyed,and I surely am enjoying this.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 May 2012
For the same sort of price that you would pay for most CDs, here you have over two and a half hours of the best that Jazz has to offer. There is also more content available digitally on the enhanced second CD.

"Ah Um" has long been considered one of the classics of Jazz and every track has become a standard, played countless times by great musicians. But in this 50th anniversary re-issue, we also get the whole of "Mingus Dynasty" which is pretty good in its own right, if not as commercial as "Ah Um". Finally we get many bonus alternate takes and Strollin'/Nostalgia in Times Square - a great track not included on either before.

This album certainly sounds better than previous CD releases and the alternate takes give a huge insight into how the group worked on "Ah Um". Just from listening to the original album, it is difficult to hear where the arrangements stop and the improvisation starts. We know this group were a co-operative and "workshopped" pieces - but from listening to the alternate takes, some familiar parts of the original album are revealed as spur of the moment improvisations that don't get repeated and these are often some of the best moments in certain tracks.

There's nothing more to say about these original albums that hasn't been said in the last 50 years - but this package is still worth buying and gives fresh insight into a band and composer, who was at the forefront of Jazz in the late 1950s. This is how they deserve to be remembered.
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on 8 November 2011
For the reviewer who has given this unbelievable LP 1 star, saying the remastering is a catastrophe - then I suggest you check 2 things;

a) your equipment


b) your ears.

To say this has bad sound is quite simply ludicrous. It's as beautifully recorded as it is brilliantly played. Not only is "Mingus Ah Um" a good entrance point to Mingus himself, but it's a perfectly good entry point into jazz!!

And aside from everything I've just said, this LP is drenched in soul. I'm not exaggerating or giving it too much credit, it's one of the top 10 jazz LPs ever recorded.

This edition includes the whole of the Mingus Dynasty LP. For all my love of "Ah Um", (like most others) I can't say I share the full on enthusiasm for it's its follow up. It's not bad and it's still recorded perfectly - but it's there are a dozen or so other Mingus LPs I'd recommend before it. As an extra disc though, and aside from all the very strong bonus tracks spread across both discs, the whole package amounts to something both extremely special, and essential.
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on 8 February 2012
I was first introduced to Mingus by listening to Blues and Roots over fifty years ago. The then listening experience was such that at long last I decided to purchase the CD. My enjoyment of the music demanded that I listen to more Mingus and the various reviewers recommended Mingus Ah Um. I was not disappointed. Essentially a mainstream listener I regard these two purchases as something of a departure from normal choice. I can only say that in my old age I am very pleased to have been this adventurous. If there is any listener who has a decided preference for big band swing or a small mainstream group this double CD is an introduction to something different and well worth it. Still anxious to explore I purchased Money Jungle in which Mingus and Max Roach provide a great rhythm for Duke Ellington's piano. Recorded in 1962 Mingus was still an inspired performer.

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on 19 April 2012
Great Mingus album, generally considered a jazz classic. I don't think this is as good as some of his other albums, but it is a fairly essential one, and is almost certainly the Mingus album which a Mingus beginner or a more casual jazz fan would find the least intimidating. There is a lighter, more accessible quality to this material than the large majority of his other stuff.

The main album itself is brilliant from beginning to end. The bonus tracks aren't as great, but I never let that affect my judgement of the album itself.

This edition of Ah Um also includes a complete other album, Mingus Dynasty, which, to be honest, I still haven't gotten around to (I take my time with some things). But hey, it's Mingus, it can't be bad.
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on 1 March 2010
I wasn't quite sure what ''Legacy Edition'' would mean - basically it means you get over 2.5 hours of music on 2 full CDs - all of ''Ah Hum'', all of ''Dynasty'' plus alternative and additional tracks all remastered to a remarkable sound. Fantastic - this is what reissues should all be like.
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on 2 March 2013
My first Mingus purchase, chosen because Ah Um has such a reputation as a Jazz classic. And it doesn't disappoint.

That said after a few listens I found myself putting on the second disk MINGUS DYNASTY just as much, perhaps more. Dynasty is more arranged, a little more complex, but still beautiful tunes. Mingus was name-checked on Zappa's Freak out cover and listening to Mingus Dynasty I get a real sense sense that Mingus was a significant influence on Zappa. I guess that would lose a star or two for some!
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on 5 March 2010's still a little naughty for this package to be issued under the original title of just one album. Containing as it does the follow-up album 'Mingus Dynasty' plus outakes and extended versions of the original Mingus Ah Um album this is virtually 'The Complete 1959 CBS Charles Mingus Sessions' 4-LP set under a different name. I can only guess that this rather unsexy title would shift less units in this day and age compared to the hip 'Mingus Ah Um'. Also, it gives the impression of watering down the impact of 'Mingus Dynasty', an album that yields nothing to its predecessor in terms of quality - the only criticism that can be levelled at it is its close resemblance to 'Ah Um' which in the past has given it 'poorer relation' status. Consequentially, it's difficult to justify shelling out for this latest package if you own the 1998 Sony remaster of 'Mingus Dynasty' already.

Marketing quibbles aside, the music is peerless - Mingus showing yet again that he can write and arrange a myriad of styles: blues, hard-bop, scaled-down big-band. It was not for nothing that he was considered to be Ellington's natural successor when composing and arranging for line-ups of all shapes and sizes - whether tight 4-pieces, nonets or orchestra - his invention was endless. The music on these recordings is scored for a band featuring between 7 and 10 members.

1959 was really a banner year for Mingus as the fine non-CBS albums 'Blues & Roots' and 'Wonderland' (aka 'Jazz Portraits') were released a few months earlier. Those who buy this may well need those albums also.

Apologies for dropping a star - if there was a way of voting for both the music and the re-release's premise (taking into account the misrepresentation) then it would 5 and 3.

In conclusion, my advice would be to buy this only if it works out cheaper than buying the 'Mingus Ah Um' and 'Mingus Dynasty' 1998 re-issues together.
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on 21 May 2010
This is one of the best jazz albums of all time. But this remastering is a catastrophe. It sounds like half the musicians
are lined up against one wall and the others are lined up against the opposite wall in a very large studio. The engineers
responsible need to look up the definition of the word "stereo" in the dictionary. There is no way that Teo Macero had this
in mind: check out his exemplary Miles Davis recordings, some of the best ever made (quite apart from the music).
Toxic! Do not touch with a ten-foot barge pole!
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