Thrice Upon A Theme CD
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These are rare recordings made in 1954 for Pearl Records and '57 for the Jubilee label, sessions that bookend his hugely successful period with Atlantic Records and predate his signing to Columbia. The former were originally released as two 10" LPs and feature a sextet including Thad Jones on trumpet and John La Porta and Teo Macero on saxes. (Macero became in house producer for Columbia and oversaw all of Miles Davis' classic recordings for the label.) The latter recordings are of the The Mingus Three featuring Hampton Hawes on piano and Danni Richmond on drums.
Top Customer Reviews
For me, Mingus reached maturity in February 1957 when he recorded "The Clown".
The first disc is before that time- about 1954 I think- and is interesting but possibly only to people who want to understand how Mingus developed. It does, however, have some blistering trumpet playing from Thad Jones on it.
The second disc, for me, is very different. It was recorded in July 1957 with Dannie Richmond on drums and a drug-addled Hampton Hawes on piano- you'd never know it, though, 'cos his playing is wonderful. This session is mentioned in passing in Hawes' autobiography, "Raise Up On Me," well worth a read if a bit sad.
Because of the first disc, I can only give four stars. The second disc is easily available on its own, usually known as "Mingus Three." But, if you don't have either of them, buy them both here for Thad Jones's playing on the first disc then see if you agree with me about the second.