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Oh Yeah

Oh Yeah

1 Jun 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Oh Yeah
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jun. 2012
  • Release Date: 1 Jun. 2012
  • Label: CGH Ventures Inc.
  • Copyright: (c) 2012 CGH Ventures Inc.
  • Total Length: 1:07:05
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B008PJNJSS
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,288 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was the first Mingus album I heard in the early 1960s and it still sounds wonderful today.
Mingus assembled a potent band for this November, 1961 session which included multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk(in his pre-Rahsaan days), the great tenorist Booker Ervin and expressive trombonist Jimmy Knepper all at the peak of their powers.
Mingus's right-hand man Danny Richmond is on drums with Doug Watkins taking over the bass duties leaving the leader to accompany on soulful piano and contributing some bluesy vocals(plus occasional shouting!).
Highlights include the earthy, rumbustious 'Hog Callin' Blues' featuring an inspired Roland Kirk, the churchy 'Ecclusiastics' and the Monkish 'Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am'. 'Eat That Chicken' is a humorous tribute to Fats Waller while 'Passions of a Man' is a strange, surreal early rap with highly unusual and effective instrumental backing. The three excellent bonus tracks from this session, '"Old" Blues For Walt's Torin', 'Peggy's Blue Skylight' and 'Invisible Lady' were first issued on 'Tonight At Noon'.
'Oh Yeah' was the record that turned me on to modern jazz and while not quite a Mingus masterpiece it's a wildly entertaining, turbulent and passionate album that deserves to reach the widest possible audience.

BTW ~ The earlier CD re-issue of 'Oh Yeah'(ATLANTIC JAZZ 90667-2) omits the three bonus tracks but is important for the inclusion of a fascinating 24-minute interview with Mingus conducted by the producer, Nesuhi Ertegun.
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This is one of Mingus' best albums and is unusual in several respects. Most notably Mingus plays piano, and the roaring insistent passages as well as soft comping are hugely effective. The three horns (Booker Ervin and Roland Kirk on sax, Jimmy Knepper on trombone) are powerful and soul stirring. In addition, Mingus' singing/vocalizing punctuate the sounds in a manner similar to drums and bass. For example, the opening "Hog Callin' Blues" begins with a righteously vocalized bop riff by Mingus, and is accompanied by fiery, sometimes dissonant sax work by the great Roland Kirk. The blues similarly colors many songs, but really, Mingus adds his imprimatur to all musical influences.
Ecclusiastics is a blues (well, a Mingus blues) with Mingus' prayer-like bop vocals and piano adding a spiritual dimension. This song is simply beautiful; I'd love to hear this sometime as an orchestral piece! The group shifts from soothing, Ellingtonian strains to buoyant noise in seconds; it is a beautifully realized composition.
"Oh Lord, Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb on Me" is another musical prayer (with Mingus' famous line "don't let them drop it, stop it, bebop it"). And "Eat that Chicken" is, well, unlike anything: A rollicking song about "eating chicken," which is both farcical and a deeply felt appreciation of appetitive delights. It's a different number alright, but essentially spiritual and akin to a joyous gospel. Passions of a Man is a total surrealistic delight, with Mingus intoning Spanish (or is it a mixture of Spanish and Mingus-ese?) and shouts of "Viva!" set against the group's abstract "Latin." I don't know with what it compares, but it is a daring delight! The Atlantic re-release adds three songs from the 1964 "Tonight at Noon.
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Format: Audio CD
The otherwise infallible Cook and Morton slightly underrate this album for some reason but it has always thrilled me. In fact, it was one of the handful of albums that got me into jazz in the first place. Just try out Hog Callin' Blues and you're hooked -- guaranteed!
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Oh Yeah!
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