In this value package from Real Gone Jazz, you get eight classic albums from classical-turned-jazz composer-musician and double-bass player Charles Mingus on four disks, a true bargain for any fan.
Here's what you get on your four disks:
Disk 1 1. Mingus Three (1957) 2. Charles Mingus Quartet and Max Roach (1955)
Disk 2 1. The Clown (1957) 2. East Coasting (1957)
Disk 3 1. Mingus at the Bohemia (1955) 2. Pithecanthropus Erectus (1956)
Disk 4 1. Jazzical Moods Volume One (1954) 2. Mingus in Wonderland (1959)
Fans of Mingus may know of his multiracial origins (part Chinese, part Swedish, part black African) and the severe stigma he suffered as a young struggling cellist trying to make it in classical music, until his change to double bass and move into jazz. He was a very adventurous composer and prolific writer, often employing a band of as many as 10 different musicians each of whom had an individual score written by Mingus for them to play. On this interesting collection both `Pithecanthropus Erectus' and `The Clown' are considered Mingus classics and amongst some of the most adventurous music ever to emerge from the jazz idiom. He was also famous for his large and intimidating physique and occasionally ferocious uncontrollable temper.
Charlie Mingus died in January 1979 at the relatively young age of 56, having suffered for several years from muscle-wastage due to Gehrig's Disease. Some consider he has a place among the greatest 20th century composers, and would even put him in the top five.
The sound quality of the Real Gone re-issues has been occasionally criticised by keen-eared audiophiles, and there is some small merit in this criticism. If you are very fussy about faultless sound quality, you can buy all these albums separately: however if you're relatively new to Charlie Mingus and happy to experience a broad selection of his output including a few of his truly great works, then you can't go wrong with this 4-disk package. I'm no obsessive audiophile but to me the sound quality on this set is in every way acceptable. OK it doesn't include `Ah Um' or `Let my Children Hear Music' but nevertheless the package would be worth the asking price just for `The Clown' and `Pithecanthropus Erectus' by themselves; the other works are a bonus.
I have reviewed most of these and therefore can only endorse the other reviewers' comments. Difficult to review classic albums in a short space. If you have time, read mine and others. Mingus remains a major player and influence on jazz and musical history. Another bargain re-issue. The packaging and information leave a lot to be desired, but looking around the information is there. What can you expect for a giveaway. 'Pithocanthropus Erect','The Clown', and 'Mingus In Wonderland' are worth the price alone. The rest is a bonus. Marvellous Mingus. A treat.