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Charles Mingus: Mingus Three

Album Notes

Personnel: Charles Mingus (acoustic bass); Hampton Hawes (piano); Dannie Richmond (drums).

Recorded in New York, New York on July 9, 1957. Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff.

With its absence of alternative takes (nothing blows the mood like hearing the same tune twice), this album still comes leaping out of the speakers decades later. Nat Hentoff, in the original liner notes, characterizes the tunes as dialogues between bassist/leader Mingus and pianist Hampton Hawes. We hear Mingus soloing at length on "Back Home Blues" and "I Can't Get Started," whereas "Hamp's New Blues" allows Hawes to let loose with his bop chops, the flipside to the exemplary down-home sensibilities Mingus coaxes from him on the aforementioned "Back Home Blues."

Long-time Mingus drummer Danny Richmond's fours on "Hamp's New Blues" have the force of an eruption, and his creative use of percussion leads into the unusual and compelling ostinato Mingus lays down for the trio's version of "Summertime." On "Dizzy Moods," Mingus'interpretation of the changes to Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody 'n You," Hawes injects a healthy dose of the blues into the bebop chord progression while Richmond keeps things swinging hard at mid-tempo.


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