Cincinnati Babyhead

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Jazz Record : Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Hum

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Can’t remember exactly how I got into Charles Mingus. I guess a natural progression in my discovery of jazz music.  The opening cut of this album is titled ‘Better Git It In Your Soul’ and it’s a perfect piece for anyone’s intro into Charles Mingus’ music. I can’t even begin to describe what’s going on in this piece other than yeah it got into CB’s soul. Mingus is always taking his music somewhere and it builds. I could hear Ellington all over it. That was before I discovered what an influence Duke had on his music. Charles is his own man and uses all the music that had influenced him. He puts it through his being and comes up with his own unique style. I absolutely dig it and after repeated listens it never fails to move me and reveal more of his creativity. This is some good shit.

CM pays musical homage to people he worked with and who he loved. Duke, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Jelly Roll Morton .. This is dense music played by the musicians Mingus brought together for the session. No passengers here. Some fantastic sax work  which always grabs CB’s ears. I’d fill up a page noting all the fantastic individual playing.

My musical tastes before I found this music set me up for it. Bands like Yes, Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Steely Dan, Return To Forever, Headhunters and others trained my ear for all that was going on. This music just hit me and still does. I was never into easy listening that much and this is at the opposite end of that term. It’s not “hard listening” but it certainly is intense at times.

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The music does create moods and a feel. Edgy, sultry, aggressive, quiet, loud, abrasive, noisy, avant guard. Lots of contrasts. It runs the gamut. So much creativity going on with everyone collaborating under Charles’s leadership. It’s tight but feels loose (CB you are confusing yourself again). It always amazes me where musicians get their ideas. like I said Mingus draws his inspiration from his sources and gives it his creative pulse.

This music just sounds urban/street to my ear. I bracket time for a good dose of Charles on a regular basis. This might not be instantly accessible to a lot of folks but if it grabs you like it did me you’ll be hooked. Give it a shot. Mingus was a big man with big musical ideas that work for me.

Lots written about this album if you’re inclined to search it out. Always interesting to read what folks have to say but the proof is in the listening. Expand your music library with some music from the big man. Throw on a Pork Pie hat and get some soul Charles style.

 

32 comments on “Jazz Record : Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Hum

  1. J.
    September 22, 2019

    Yes to all of this, CB. I dig this one… opens my head up with creativity and energy. In fact, I just put it on as I started reading… I find this one really accessible. Opened up the jazz doors for me. Much like Miles’ Kind of Blue and Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 22, 2019

      Where the hell have you been/ Lost in the wilds?
      Yeah it has lots going on. Appeals to my ear. I could have picked quite a few of his albums but I had to start somewhere. It’s a good one.
      Nice to see you back!

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        September 22, 2019

        Something like that! I see I’ve got a bit of catching up to do here!

        Mingus does have a load of great stuff. Amazingly I don’t own a thing on vinyl. Yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 22, 2019

        Life takes its course just nice to see you back. Don’t hurt yourself “catching up”
        I’ve stumbled on the odd vinyl of CM’s. You would be up on it more than me. I’m sure they have re-released his catalogue on those black things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        September 22, 2019

        Yeah, there’s plenty of reissued vinyl out there and I dare say of varying quality ( personally I’m happy so long as I can enjoy the music!)

        You got me on a wee jazz wave with this; hitting up more Mingus, as well as some Monk and Miles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 23, 2019

        I’m with you on both statements. Good to have ya back.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Another Blogger
    September 22, 2019

    More people should know about Mingus. He’s in the pantheon.

    Like

  3. 1537
    September 22, 2019

    Nice one CB. I love this one myself. I feel like I learn something new every time I ever play Mingus. Blues & Roots and Mingus Plays Piano are the ones I reach for most often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 22, 2019

      Those are two good ones also. I could have featured either one. Probably will if you haven’t already or plan to. I seem to recall some Mingus in your past musings.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1537
        September 22, 2019

        Yup I couldn’t resist doing both of them. I reach for the piano one quite a bit these days. There are so many I don’t know at all, still.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 22, 2019

        I had a quick look at your archives. After your”Piano” take I lived (obsessed)with that one for a while. I do that a lot after reading certain takes.
        Your absolutely right about “so many”. I have quite a few but so many more to get. Thing is, they all kinda run into one another and become “Charles Mingus” music. I might be off with that “gene ” your mentioned.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim S.
    September 22, 2019

    I know you’re a big Mingus fan. Don’t know this one but I’ll give it a spin in the next day or two. Right now I’m kinda busy learning how to yodel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 22, 2019

      Charles is a little bit of a departure from the yodeling but he does a lot of shouting.
      I will be expecting a take on the yodeling and maybe a sound byte. Good luck with that.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        September 22, 2019

        You know I’m full of surprises. And full of other stuff too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 22, 2019

        A yodel spewing, jazz rock guitar fool.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        September 22, 2019

        Take out everything between the first and last words and you got it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        September 23, 2019

        Ok. Listened to this. What a terrific album. How do I not know this? “Pork Pie Hat” is one of the great jazz songs and I never gave much thought to where it came from. Such a classic that it seemed to be just out there. Interestingly, I am not all that familiar with the personnel but that sax sure sounds sweet. I will give this some more quality time once I get done watching Hee-Haw..

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 24, 2019

        Great that you enjoyed it ( a departure from the country music). So many great jazz albums Doc, a lifetime to stay on top of them. Lester Young (Pork Pie Hat) was such a cool guy. While other tenor guys like to blow like hell he toned it down. I thin k Mingus loved him.
        I’m not a Mingus Expert but he was pretty picky about his musicians. All top notch players.
        After “Hee Haw” you are going to need a jazz fix or some heavy blues.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        September 24, 2019

        Jeff Beck did a nice version of “Pork Pie Hat.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 24, 2019

        That’s where I first heard it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. BuriedOnMars
    September 23, 2019

    One of these days I will get right into jazz and follow all of these recommendations when I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 23, 2019

      It’s a big chunk Mars. Bands like Steely Dan are giving you a taste. Just take it from there.

      Like

      • BuriedOnMars
        September 23, 2019

        Will do. I do like some jazz like Vince Guaraldi at Christmas.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 24, 2019

        There’s that whole style that guys like Guaraldi played . Jazz is such a mixed bag but what a great mixed bag it is.

        Like

  6. Thom Hickey
    September 27, 2019

    Mingus.. A head and heart jazz master.

    Good stuff CB

    THOM

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Francisco Bravo Cabrera
    October 3, 2019

    Great post reference a great album…always loved this one as well as most of Mingus work! Read his book also “Tonight at Noon” he was a very creative and interesting musician, artist and human. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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