Thursday, December 31, 2009

Charlie Mingus - East Coasting

This sextet session dates from 1957, when the volcanic bassist and composer was first assembling his Jazz Workshop. Mingus had already put together the core of the band that would reach its summit two years later with Mingus Ah Um, including saxophonist Shafi Hadi, trombonist Jimmy Knepper, and drummer Dannie Richmond, who would be with Mingus's bands for the next two decades. The music has Mingus's distinct stamp, the rhythmic aggressiveness, sudden time (and mood) shifts, contrapuntal themes, and a palette of sounds that reaches back through bop to early jazz for the vocalizing, plunger-muted horns. His bass often sounds like articulate thunder as he presses his musicians toward a unique musical vision. Completing the group are two striking soloists: the seldom-heard trumpeter Clarence Shaw, best known for his work on Mingus's contemporaneous New Tijuana Moods, who combines thoughtful hesitancy and melodic daring; and pianist Bill Evans, whose distinctive musical presence and lyric imagination add to Mingus's often dense harmonies. The turbulent "West Coast Ghost" and the emotionally charged "Celia" stand out. ”

“The composer and bass player Charles Mingus recorded East Coasting for Bethlehem in 1957, in between such classics as Tijuana Moods (RCA) and Mingus Ah Um (Columbia). In addition to featuring an early version of "Celia," along with some numbers he never recorded again, East Coasting is notable for the presence of pianist Bill Evans, who briefly worked for Mingus before joining Miles Davis for the landmark Kind Of Blue.

Charlie Mingus - East Coasting (1957) (2005)

Track Listings

1. Memories of You - Charles Mingus, Blake
2. East Coasting
3. West Coast Ghost
4. Celia
5. Conversation
6. Fifty-First Street Blues
7. East Coasting
8. Memories of You - Charles Mingus, Blake


Charles Mingus - bass
Dannie Richmond - drums
Jimmy Knepper - trombone
Shafi Hadi - alto & tenor saxophones
Clarence Shaw - trumpet
Also: Bill Evans

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