Charles Mingus: Half-Mast Inhibition


Half-Mast Inhibition



Pre-Bird (Mercury 538636)

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Charles Mingus (bass), Marcus Belgrave (trumpet), Ted Curson (trumpet), Clark Terry (trumpet), Eddie Bert (trombone), Slide Hampton (trombone), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Eric Dolphy (flute, alto sax, bass clarinet), Bill Barron (tenor sax), Yusef Lateef (tenor sax,flute), Danny Bank (baritone sax), Sir Roland Hanna (piano), Dannie Richmond (drums), Max Roach (percussion),

Hobart Dotson, Richard Williams (trumpet); Charles Greenlee (trombone), Don Butterfield (tuba), Harry Schulmann (oboe), Robert Di Domenica (flute), Charles McCracken, (cello), Sticks Evans, George Scott (percussion)


Composed by Charles Mingus. Conducted by Gunther Schuller


Recorded: New York, May 24, 1960


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Mingus began "Half-Mast Inhibition" at age 18, but left it unfinished for 20 years. As tempting as it might be to call this the first Third Stream composition, it's unclear how much was written in 1940 and how much the mature Mingus added later. What is clear is that this is a wellspring of orchestral complexity and compositional fecundity, presaging The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (1963). Uncharacteristically for Mingus, "Half-Mast Inhibition" is entirely written: no head arrangements, no improvisation. Yet from first note to last, only Mingus could've poured forth this disturbing, dissociative Third Stream of consciousness.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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