Charles Mingus: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat


Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (aka Goodbye, Porkpie Hat)



Three or Four Shades of Blues (Atlantic 1700-2)

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Charles Mingus (bass), Philip Catherine (guitar), Larry Coryell (guitar),

Jack Walrath (trumpet), George Coleman (alto and tenor saxes), Ricky Ford (tenor sax), Bob Neloms (piano), George Mraz (bass), Dannie Richmond (drums)


Composed by Charles Mingus


Recorded: New York, March 9, 1977


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

This is definitely a different take on Mingus's classic ode to Lester Young. After the master's somber bowed intro, the tune becomes a showcase for the two young acoustic guitarists Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine, who approach the music Gypsy-style la Django. They play fast and furious over the slow changes. Coryell appears first with a blues-tinged Gypsy solo. Catherine seems to reach a little deeper into the Django bag. Of the two, Catherine pays more attention to his surroundings. Coleman takes a nice turn to usher in a short solo from Mingus. Coryell and Catherine are then again afforded extended opportunities. This is certainly not the best version of "Pork Pie" that has come down the pike. But by including two young guitar superstars, Mingus shows that, even entering the final years of his life, he was unafraid to introduce new sounds into his music. Sure it doesn't always work. But the effort is worth listening to.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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