Mingus Cuernavaca is a collaboration between tenor saxophonist Jean-Marc Padovani and poet Enzo Cormann with a variety of musicians. Although the title would indicate that the CD is a tribute to Charles Mingus, only one of the great bassist/composer's songs, "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" (itself a memorial tribute to Lester Young), is present, while Cormann sings on this number. Padovani's compositions generally hold one's interest, along with the playing of Padovani (who also doubles on soprano sax), alto and baritone saxophonist Richard Foy, and pianist Stéphane Kochoyan. Unfortunately, since Cormann narrates the remaining tracks in French exclusively, it is hard to appreciate the text without understanding the language. Frankly, his voice gets a bit tiresome after a few tracks, making listening to the CD in one sitting an endurance test.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden