Charles Mingus: Hobo Ho


Hobo Ho



Let My Children Hear Music (Columbia-Legacy CK 48910)

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Charles Mingus (bass),

Lonnie Hillyer, Jimmy Nottingham, Joe Wilder, Snooky Young (trumpets), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Julius Watkins (French horn), Charles McPherson, Jerry Dodgion, Bobby Jones, Hal McKusick, James Moody (saxes), Jaki Byard, John Foster, Roland Hanna (piano), Charles McCracken (cello), Dannie Richmond (drums)


Composed by Charles Mingus; conducted by Teo Macero


Recorded: New York, September 30, 1971


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Time and again, exploring the forward-thinking approach of any of jazz's true stylistic innovators ultimately leads further and further back into the music's history. As fundamentally modern and influential as Mingus's intricate rhythmic conception within a gospel/blues framework has been, it simultaneously presents an equally powerful nod to the previous foundation laid by Duke Ellington.

The first half of "Hobo Ho" returns to an earlier Mingus form the single, gospel/blues bass theme that lays the groundwork for a guttural tenor solo and quick, biting background hits. Around the 4-minute mark, though, the arrangement turns into a more complex, through-composed event with multiple interweaving rhythmic figures as the tenor solo gradually melts away into a free-for-all climax. The 1950s and '60s seem to drift into the '70s at that 4-minute mark, displaying the arranged freedom that so many had set out to perfect throughout the '60s. The controlled chaos that has built throughout the tune eventually recedes and leaves the introductory bass theme as the last player standing, taking us both literally and figuratively back to where we started.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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