These overlooked sessions by the great bassist/composer/bandleader Charles Mingus(1922-1979) were recorded in New York City on February 13 & March 12, 1957 with Shafi Hadi aka Curtis Porter(alto & tenor sax); Jimmy Knepper(trombone); Wade Legge(piano) & Dannie Richmond(drums). Highlights of the 6 Mingus compositions are the classic 'Haitian Fight Song', the haunting 'Reincarnation Of A Lovebird' recorded exactly 2 years after Charlie Parker's death and 'The Clown' which is a moving story with a brilliant improvised narration by Jean Shepherd. The 2 excellent bonus tracks originally appeared om Mingus's album 'Tonight At Noon' released in June, 1964. 'The Clown' contains almost an hour of passionate and expressionistic Mingus music which deserves to be better known.
Brilliant album. It becomes clear that Charles is talking about his perception of his relationship with other people. It is not unusual for a talented musician to experience a stage persona which can seem to be sometimes remote from his normal self.
My rather old copy on Atlantic has just four tracks. There seem to be other versions available. This album dates from 1957. The band is: Mingus, Shafi Hadi (saxes), Jimmy Knepper (tmb), Wade Legge (p) and Dannie Richmond (d). The two stand out tracks for me are the first and third: "Haitian Fight Song" and "Reincarnation Of A Lovebird". The blues "Blue Cee" doesn't really standout, and the title track "The Clown" is a well produced piece of improvisation where the "beat poet" Jean Shepherd tells the sad story of a clown who can't make the crowd laugh. In the musical accompaniment Jimmy Knepper takes the plaintive lead. It works, but is not my number one track. An interesting album worth buying.
Flipping Brilliant Jazz album I lov the Bass solo in the haitian Fight song it is imaginative and clever as is the entire song the rest of the album is equally good thought The fight song is the best The clown has some commentary in it too.
Minimal sleeve notes as might be expected from such a cheap CD. However the music is what counts and the music here is stupendous. Personnel details etc can always be obtained from other sources anyway. Very happy with the CD.