Charles Mingus: Stormy Weather (1960)
Charles Mingus (bass)
Mingus (Candid 79021)
Composed by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler.
Recorded: New York, October 20, 1960
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
If any jazzman's psyche epitomized "Stormy Weather," it was Charles Mingus's. Which makes this track's tranquility all the more surprising. Of course, Mingus loved to pull the rug out from under people. Here, at solemn tempo, he calmly supports longtime friend Eric Dolphy in one of the all-time great alto sax solos, and incidentally contributes a deeply lyrical bass solo himself. Yet as compellingly as he plays, Mingus's primary contribution is as bandleader. Not since Ethel Waters introduced "Stormy Weather" in 1933 had the song received such a theatrical staging. And, considering its starkness, Mingus's production is if anything more impressive.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz