Album Club Discussion #8: Charles Mingus' Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

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Album Club Discussion #8: Charles Mingus' Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Post by ordinaryperson » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:05 am


Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus by Charles Mingus

AM Ranking: #1816
Genre: Post-Bop
Release: Sometime in 1963
Labels: Impulse!


01 | II B.S.
02 | I X Love
03 | Celia
04 | Mood Indigo
05 | Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul
06 | Theme for Lester Young
07 | Hora Decubitus
08 | Freedom

Any type of opinion can be expressed on these discussion threads, you can post just a few words or a couple of paragraphs, you can even rank the tracks if you wanted to. New discussions will be posted on Fridays, so that users will have the time over the weekend to listen to the album and form their opinion on it.

We'll come face to face with an album in the top 250 one more time.
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Re: Album Club Discussion #8: Charles Mingus' Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Post by FrankLotion » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:42 am

I’ll admit I don’t have the most articulated opinions when it comes to Jazz records, I’ve only just started listening to the classics like Coltrane, Monk and others. I will say this is pretty nice though! I read up on Mingus while listening to this and found out he was born in my hometown in Arizona which is cool, also it sounds like he had a hilariously misplaced temper a lot of the time when he was recording this which makes it even more amusing how mellow some of the tracks ended up being. Not too many thoughts other than that, hopefully I’ll be able to listen to more of his discography soon!

Favorite Tracks: II B.S., I X Love, Better Get Hit In Yo’ Soul, Freedom

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Re: Album Club Discussion #8: Charles Mingus' Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Post by spiritualized » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:07 pm

Likewise - I can't profess to be a jazz expert, but I do enjoy the odd Miles Davis record and listening to the classics. I abhorr free jazz, which far too chaotic for me.
I am a firm believer that jazz is the perfect mood music. It embraces the mood you're into, but doesn't "create" it like rock music can. And today, whilst listening to Mingus Mingus Mingus, I was in the mood. Working alone in a large town house, no other sound but the keys on my laptop and Charles Mingus. The bass playing is dextrous and very, very moody.

I listened to this album 10 years ago. Rated it 6/10, I guess I wasn't in the mood. Today, it's worth a good 8/10.

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Re: Album Club Discussion #8: Charles Mingus' Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Post by fasbjd » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:40 am

Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus is a difficult album to review. No doubt, it's a great album - very enjoyable from beginning to end - impeccably played throughout. A great place to start if you're new to Mingus - a nice balance of beautiful ballads and rollicking fast tunes with versions of some of his best known songs. That said, it's hard to listen to these versions and not compare then to their predecessors - most of which I tend to like better. My favorite song on here is II B.S. - but I prefer Haitian Fight Song to this version. Likewise, I prefer the Mingus Ah Um version of Better Get Hit and the original Goodbye Pork Pie to Theme. I do think Hora Decubitus is fantastic and superior to Eh's Flat and the Mood Indigo here is beautiful. An album definitely worth having but search out the originals as well.

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Re: Album Club Discussion #8: Charles Mingus' Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Post by Jirin » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:02 pm

It soundy good.

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Re: Album Club Discussion #8: Charles Mingus' Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Post by Safetycat » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:31 pm

Probably my favourite album I've listened to so far in this project! The smoothest of jazz, with a good mix of fun jazz and emotional jazz. I'd be happy to have this going in the background on a rainy afternoon.

Also, Mingus is a funny name and I'm glad he recognised this by getting people to say it at least 5 times when naming the album.

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Re: Album Club Discussion #8: Charles Mingus' Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

Post by Rob » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:56 pm

Fasbjd already touched on it, but I think it is worth mentioning this directly: Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus is an album wherein Mingus set out to re-record some of his old tunes. There are no new compositions on here. The only song Mingus never performed before was Mood Indigo, but that wasn't a new song either: it was a cover of a famous Duke Ellington piece, meant as a tribute to Mingus' great hero.

Why do this? Right before this album made The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, his most cherished work that completely solidified his place as one of the jazz greats. Mingus was now on both a popular as well as a creative peak and basically could do anything he wanted. And what he wanted was to redo some songs he thought he didn't get quite right the first time around, even if it included some of his standards like Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and Haitian Fight Song. Also, he wanted to record these with a bigger band and now he was in a position were he could easily do that. Basically, Mingus did the same thing Car Seat Headrest did this year with Twin Fantasy: finally give songs the due the artists thought they deserved.

The first time this week I listened to the album straight, but the second time I played each song after the original recording, for comparisons. I made a playlist of it, for the interested:

Because of the length of this playlist I figured I would listen to it in two sittings, but tonight I just found myself enjoying the atmosphere too much and ended up listening to the whole thing in one piece. What you get is not a lesser version followed by a correction (as Mingus saw it) and neither a pure original followed by a butchering (as a handful of purists claim), but two great interpretations. It's for the best Mingus changed many of the titles here, so that the two recordings could stand more easily next to each other. Even at two hours and including the bonus track Freedom this just doesn't lag.

If nothing else Mingus x 5 proved that well in his career Mingus could approach much of his old music with vitality. These new versions don't feel perfunctory or like they have started to go through a motion. There is joy in the place there needs to be, as well as peace when such a thing is required. There are many people out there who can better explain the nuances in the playing and the difference between versions. I'm not well-versed in the language of jazz - I only understand it instinctively and emotionally. What I can say though is that I enjoyed this record immensely and it serves as yet another reminder that I should listen to jazz more often, as I think a jazz fan might lurk inside of me.

On another note, I always hear this title in my mind as a variation on a scene in Being John Malkovich where Malkovich goes into his own mind and only hears his own name. Malkovich Malkovich? Mingus Mingus!

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