Post bop masterpiece from American jazz legend. Mingus Ah Um was originally recorded in 1959 and drew on the influence of Mingus' musical ancestors. It was the storied bassist's debut for Columbia and he turned in a recording that captured all of his talents. The set is extremely varied, encompassing the spiritual ecstasy of "Better Get It in Your Soul," complete with gospel shouts and the mockery of segregationist Arkansas governor Orval Faubus on "Fables of Faubus" (the censored lyrics can be found on Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus). There's a tribute to the then recently deceased saxophonist Lester Young on the slow moving "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" and the aggressive swing of "Boogie Stop Shuffle." Mingus also offers up nods to jazz greats Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton on their namesake songs. With all that and more, Mingus Ah Hum comes the closest to being the definitive Mingus album. Nine tracks in all. 180g purple colored vinyl edition on the 20th Century Masterworks label, recommended.
reviewed by Cool Hand 06/2017