Charles Mingus

REVIEW: “Mingus Three” Reissue


Charles Mingus — Mingus Three centennial reissue

The legendary Charles Mingus has received the Centennial Birthday treatment courtesy of Rhino Records with a deluxe edition re-release of his 1957 trio album, Mingus Three this past week on April 22nd. The set includes the original 7 track album as well as a second disc comprised of, 8 outtakes from the original sessions. Mingus Three includes four standards (“Yesterdays,” “I Can’t Get Started,” “Summertime” and “Laura”), two Mingus originals (“Back Home Blues” and “Dizzy Moods”), and a group jam “Hamp’s New Blues.” The bonus material includes outtakes for each of the album cuts except “Laura”, but does also includes a pair of untitled blues takes. The original album was released in 1957 on Jubilee and produced by Lee Kraft. This deluxe edition also includes the thought provoking in-depth liner notes provided by Sy Johnson and commentary from Nat Hentoff.

Something I found fascinating was that Mingus recorded this session in a day with pianist Hampton Hawes, a childhood friend who’d been in bands with Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon, and drummer Dannie Richmond, whose association with the bassist lasted over two decades.

Nat Hentoff, Co-Editor, Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya and Jazz Makers writes in the liner notes:
This trio session is considerably different from most trio dates.
Two strong personalities are present in Mingus and Hawes, and although there is an overall feeling of fusion, of tempered rapport, this is as much a dialogue between Mingus and Hawes with punctuation from Richmond as it a group expression.

It is by all appearances, a building storm. A battle waged between Mingus’ hard bop roots, and also his growing need for improvisation and free-form against Hawes’ more true bop nature ala’ his influences of Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. Together, they push and stretch, challenging one another all while reinventing and rediscovering the songs within the song. Behind it all, the stoic Richmond is there to drive it all home. This much is clear, I’ll never be mistaken for a jazz scholar or writer, but I love jazz from this era. Just about nothing can compare and this release is pure gold. An album to listen too and fuel contemplation, but also a fine candidate to spin in the background.

The fine folks at Rhino have put this spectacular set of music available as a 180-gram double LP , a double CD set as well as being available on your favorite digital and streaming platforms.
Find out more information here:



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