The Very Best of Charles Mingus

The Very Best of Charles Mingus

by Charles MingusCharles Mingus


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The task of choosing the best work of Charles Mingus would be a daunting one. There's literally so much good material in a number of different settings, that the "best" of Charles Mingus could never be contained on one CD. Then again, it is extremely difficult for a newcomer to approach Mingus' multiple recordings and know where to begin. Rhino has solved this problem by offering a one-stop disc with a number of classic Mingus recordings. The vibrant "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" is filled with hand clapping, horn blasting, and shouting, and it seems impossible that this loose and wild music will hold together for the duration. Mingus somehow manages to ground himself in tradition on pieces like "Tonight at Noon" while simultaneously creating music that borders on free jazz. It's fascinating that an untamed piece like "Pithecanthropus Erectus" can hold an Ellington-esque piano solo at its very center. Another excellent inclusion is "Haitian Flight Song," beginning with Mingus' untamed bass work before mushrooming into a riotous celebration of squealing horns and heavy percussion. There are certain types of jazz that the listener will allow to politely fade into the background; there are also types of jazz that rudely demand to be heard. Mingus falls into the second category. Of course, one could complain about certain items -- like "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" -- that didn't show up on this best-of. But so what? There's more than enough excellent material here to hook the listener to the flamboyant and rich stylings of Charles Mingus. Once this has been accomplished, the listener will gladly seek out and collect other gems.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/04/2016
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227998820
catalogNumber: 79988
Rank: 90110


  1. Pithecanthropus Erectus
  2. Profile of Jackie
  3. Tonight at Noon
  4. Haitian Fight Song
  5. Reincarnation of a Lovebird
  6. Moanin'
  7. Cryin' Blues
  8. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting
  9. Ecclusiastics
  10. Passions of a Man
  11. Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Charles Mingus   Primary Artist,Bass,Vocals
Pepper Adams   Baritone Saxophone
Booker Ervin   Tenor Saxophone
Rahsaan Roland Kirk   Flute,Tenor Saxophone,Stritch,Manzello,Siren
Jimmy Knepper   Trombone
Horace Parlan   Piano
Dannie Richmond   Drums
Mal Waldron   Piano
Doug Watkins   Bass
Willie Dennis   Trombone
Wade Legge   Piano
Willie Jones   Drums
Jackie McLean   Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

Hugh Brown   Art Direction
Tom Dowd   Engineer
Nesuhi Ertegun   Producer
Phil Iehle   Engineer
Hal Lustig   Engineer
Neil Tesser   Liner Notes
Lee Friedlander   Cover Photo
Steve Woolard   Discographical Annotation
Larry Hiller   Engineer
Shawn Amos   Editorial Coordinator
Daniel Goldmark   Editorial Research

Customer Reviews