Charles Mingus: Moanin'
Charles Mingus (bass)
Blues & Roots (Rhino R2 75205)
Charles Mingus (bass), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Willie Dennis (trombone), Jackie McLean (alto sax), John Handy (alto sax), Booker Ervin (tenor sax), Pepper Adams (baritone sax), Horace Parlan (piano), Dannie Richmond (drums).
Composed by Charles Mingus.
Recorded: New York, February 4, 1959
Rating: 99/100 (learn more)
Unlike Bobby Timmons' righteous "Moanin'" recorded the previous year by The Jazz Messengers, Mingus's "Moanin'" is terrifying. Baritonist Adams's deep burps evoke a prehistoric beast who's just devoured some unsuspecting caveman. As a bandleader, presiding over an ensemble that frequently verges on chaos, Mingus is always in control. As a composer, his range is astounding. He could effortlessly segue from bebop to gospel to flamenco, then from scathing protests vilifying all-American heels such as Faubus to happy homages venerating African-American heroes such as Jelly Roll Morton. "Moanin'" is an investigation of danger by a uniquely qualified artist. By any measure, indispensable.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz