Charles Mingus

Pre-Bird

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This pair of 1960 studio sessions represents some of Charles Mingus' best arrangements. Leading the smaller of two groups, he interpolates "Exactly Like You" into a driving version of "Take the 'A' Train" and adds a soulful blues, "Prayer for Passive Resistance," both of which feature great solos by tenor saxophonists Booker Ervin, Yusef Lateef, and Joe Farrell. A much larger ensemble is utilized on three tracks, including the advanced bop "Mingus Fingus No. 2" and "Bemoanable Lady," which features a rather strangely conservative alto sax solo by Eric Dolphy. Less successful are Lorraine Curson's vocals on the dissonant "Eclipse" and pulsating "Weird Nightmare." But this reissue, re-released previously under the title Mingus Revisited, has received a superb 24-bit remastering and also includes a number of photos from the sessions.

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