Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Charles Mingus “Mingus Ah Um” (1959)

Mingus Ah Um is almost absurdly energetic. The pure joy of "Better Git It in Your Soul" is some of the most exciting, exuberant jazz I've ever heard, with the gospel shouts and calls, and the monumental tempo. Ah Um reminds me of Raymond Scott, as this outpouring of manic sound that seems perpetually on the brink of chaos, but always tightly controlled. I feel like I lack the lexicon to write about jazz, but I know this is some invigorating, essential music that never flags and serves as an excellent riposte to anyone who has the temerity to say that jazz is boring and/or wanky. I do prefer the first side to the calmer second side (or the back half of the album, anyway I don't own the LP), but it's all pretty stunning. –Jared

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