Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mingus Ah Um.

Mingus Ah Um. By Charlie Mingus. (The link takes you to the 1999 remastered re-release. The album was originally released in 1959.)

"Ah Um represented a turning point in Mingus' career on multiple fronts.
The personnel is a mix of mainstays from the bassist's '50s ensembles and newer voices that would play an increasingly important role in Mingus' tumultuous output during the '60s.
Producer Teo Macero began his career on sax and was an early participant in Mingus' Jazz Workshops before arranging the Columbia sessions that would result in Ah Um and Mingus Dynasty (Legacy, 1959) and later the bassist's triumphant return to the label with Let My Children Hear Music (1972).
A transition is also apparent in the choice of material, as Mingus moves away from the third-stream, modernist vision—"Self Portrait in Three Colors"—cultivated in the mid-'50s to a more guttural, increasingly political style embodied by the still lyricless "Fables of Faubus.""
Continue reading here.

An incredible album and truly one of the most amazing covers ever.

UPDATE: Read this great interview with S. Neil Fujita, who's done the cover art for Mingus Ah Um.

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