This is a collection of extremely rare California recordings featuring Charles Mingus in a postwar small band format (the bands go under a variety of names, including Baron Mingus and His Octet, Baron Mingus and His Rhythm, Baron Mingus and His Symphonic Airs, Charles Mingus Sextet) and a couple tracks in a big band setting (as Baron Mingus and His 22 Piece Bebop Band), featuring some of Stan Kenton's players. There is nothing too startling or innovative here, but the pieces are solid and upbeat, and Mingus' fine bass playing is on display on cuts like "Shuffle Bass Boogie," "Mingus Fingers," and "These Foolish Things," while his scat singing is featured on "Boppin' in Boston." A young Miles Davis is rumored to be on several of these tracks. This is mostly a disc for serious Mingus collectors, since his most famous, striking, and innovative works were still a ways on up the road.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
feat: Lady Will Carr