This the best cd of Mingus. I didn't like Charlie Mingus but one day I visited a friend. He played this cd and I fell in love with it. I love it so much that I kept it the vehicle so that I can play it time and again. I won't hesitate to recommend it to a friend.
This review refers to the edition released on Rhino that feature the two outstanding bonus tracks "Big Alice" & "The Call". The album is a studio recording from 1973 which was released the next year. It's not the most talked about Mingus album, but the compositions are outstanding. The quality of performance is not far from any other album recorded with this line-up (Mingus, Richmond, Don Pullen, Ronald Hampton & George Adams). The title track features Honey Gordon (who sang on the bonus track "Strollin'" on "Mingus Dynasty") & the song's composer, Doug Hammond, both on vocals. A variaty of styles is presented: There are two very different ballads: "Canon" & "Moves", the chop-craving up-tempo waltz "Opus 4". "Opus 3" reminds me of Mingus' composing-style at the "Pithecantropus"-era. There's the bonus track "Big Alice" - a party-esque latin-influenced Don Pullen composition. The solos on the other bonus track "The Call" give you a feeling of something from the "Changes" session (which wasn't far apart from this). Good sound-quality. The whole album has a clear mix. I deeply recommend this album as much as e.g. "Blues & Roots", but I most point out that this is not the album to start with if you aren't familiar with Mingus' music. Start with "Ah Um" or "Mingus Dynasty" - they represent what the fuzz is about.
Stunning post bop grooves in a Strata East mode make this with out a doubt one of Mingus most accessible albums. the title track is an original vocal composition by Doug Hammond who duets with Honey Gordon on a strikingly beautiful angular tune. the remaining quintet of Ron Hampton (tp) george Adams (ts & fl) Don Pullen (p) Daniel Richmond (ds) & Mingus himself are at the top of their game and every tracks a winner...underappreciated classic.