Charles Mingus: Los Mariachis


Los Mariachis



Tijuana Moods (BMG/Bluebird 9026-63840-2)

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Charles Mingus (bass), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Dannie Richmond (drums),

Clarence Shaw (trumpet), Curtis Porter (alto sax), Bill Triglia (piano)


Composed by Charles Mingus


Recorded: New York, NY; July 18, 1957


Rating: 83/100 (learn more)

Inspired by street musicians in Tijuana, “Los Mariachis” employs a suite-like structure that simulates a walking tour; around every corner, the listener encounters another style, rhythm, or theme. The writing is conceptual, and the contrasts are sharp: for every exuberant and celebratory melody, there is a pensive and mournful counterpart. As the piece evolves, the soloists—Shaw, Knepper, Porter, then Triglia—draw from a growing memory bank of impressions and moods. Their nuanced improvisations aim to integrate the breezy bop and loping blues, buoyant calypso and poignant ballad; but the overall effect is stilted in comparison with Mingus’ subtler multipart miniatures, like “Open Letter To Duke.”

Reviewer: Joe Petrucelli


  • 1 Phil // Dec 26, 2008 at 08:24 PM
    Just listened to this and WOW, so much fun.