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American jazz classic album by the great jazz icon, Charles Mingus. This three track collector's item includes "MDM" (Monk Duke & Me) which consumes the majority of this album. It consists of three intertwining themes - Duke Ellington's Main Stem, Thelonious Monk's Straight, No Chaser, and Mingus' Fifty First Stree Blues. The following two tracks are Stormy Weather and Mingus' Lock 'Em Up (Hellview of Bellevue). The personnel on this album is Mingus' Jazz Workshop, consisting Ted Curson and Lonnie Hillyer on trumpets, Jimmy Knepper and Britt Woodman on trombones, Eric Dolphy (on alto sax and bass clarinet) Charles McPherson on alto sax, Booker Ervin on tenor, Nico Bunick and Paul Bley on piano and drummer Dannie Richmond. The Mingus-Richmond team is one of the most inflammable cohesive rhythm section performances in jazz record history.
Top Customer Reviews
Track 2, "Stormy Weather" (13.25) is recorded in quartet: Eric Dolphy, Ted Curson, Dannie Richmond and Mingus (the same quartet found on the superb Candid album "Charles Mingus presents Charles Mingus"). This quartet must rank as one of the greatest quartets ever! The interplay between the four musicians who have great skill and mutual empathy.
The other two tracks are larger groups: two trumpets, two trombones, two altos, tenor, piano, bass and drums. The first track is the lengthy M.D.M. (Monk Duke And Me) (19.52) that is based on three tunes: Main Stem (Ellington), Straight No Chaser (Monk) and 51st Street Blues (Mingus). The third and final track is shorter (6.35) and entitled "Lock 'Em Up" inspired by a brief sojourn by Mingus in BelleVue Hospital, hence the subtitle "Hellview Of BelleVue".
This is a worthwhile addition to any Mingus collection because of the aggressive themes chosen by an angry composer and musician. The music is typical of Mingus of the period being both carefully structured and with great freedom at the same time.
The opening track 'MDM(Monk, Duke & Mingus) is a stirring 20-minute piece with superb solos from most of the tentet propelled by the Mingus-Richmond team. 'Stormy Weather' features Mingus, Dolphy, Curson and Richmond and was recorded at the same session that produced the classic CANDID album 'Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus'. Eric Dolphy plays some impassioned and moving alto sax. 'Lock 'Em Up' is an intense and frenetic piece inspired by Mingus's brief confinement at Bellevue mental hospital.
All in all, this CD is a fine example of Mingus's 1960 CANDID recordings which deserve to be more widely known.