Charles Mingus: Mingus Dynasty
Analogue limited edition / 180 Grams Vinyl / Mastered from the original analog tapes
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"Mingus Dynasty," like the previous album "Mingus Ah Um," was recorded in 1959. The year was a turning point for the unsurpassed, eruptive bassist and composer Charles Mingus. He led a repertory theater consisting of New York's most creative improvisational musicians and two groups, a tentet and a nonet that included two cellos, and challenged his groups' improvisational gifts as never before. The music in the album is as captivating as the striking cover photo, which shows Mingus in a kind of mocking costume of a Chinese emperor. Included with the album as a bonus track is the well-known Mingus theme "Strollin," which he composed with Honey Gordon, who is in the tentet. It is known as an instrumental under "Nostalgia In Times Square," the soundtrack to John Cassawette's "Shadows." Mingus also honors two generations of Ellingtons in his album. His idol, Duke Ellington, whose "Mood Indigo" features a virtuoso bass solo, and the maestro's son, Mercer Ellington with "Things Ain't What They Used To Be." A number of blistering gospel originals like "Slop" and "Gunslinging Bird" are included, in 6 / 8 time, a Mingus specialty. Finally, more complex pieces are heard, such as "Far Wells, Mill Valley" and "Diane," which after an atonal beginning unfolds like a flower with Mingus' finest musical themes.
The lineup of musicians would have been hard to top, and not just in 1959. Originally produced by Teo Macero, this recently remixed and expanded version of "Mingus Dynasty" was produced by Michael Cuscuna. The artist's original commentary is reproduced here as recorded by Diane Dorr-Doryneck, expanded with information from Mingus biographer Brian Priestley and previously unpublished photos at the time of the original recordings.
B1 Song With Orange
B2 Gunslinging Bird
C1 Things Ain't What They Used To Be
C2 Far Wells, Mill Valley
C3 New Now, Know How
D1 Mood Indigo
D2 Put Me In That Dungeon