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Charles Mingus - Alternate Takes

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Alternate Takes

Charles Mingus

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Although Charles Mingus released a number of albums which count among the all-time greats of modern jazz, most lists of his best would include Mingus Ah Um and Mingus Dynasty, the utterly thrilling, innovative sessions from 1959. Alternate Takes provides just that from those dates -- alternate versions of six pieces, all of them noteworthy. Occasionally, one can hear why a certain take wasn't retained for the final album: On "Better Git It in Your Soul"," for example, the theme as stated by the front line comes back too quickly, trampling on a Dannie Richmond drum solo. But even that raggedness is none too off-putting in a Mingus-ian context where a certain amount of chaos is both expected and welcome. In fact, if the listener just forgets about the whole idea of alternate takes, he or she can simply wallow in one stupendous Mingus composition after another. Saxophonists John Handy and Booker Ervin are glorious in their rare combination of hyper intelligence and deep soul, and Jimmy Knepper is his normal, outstanding self. Some of the pieces, like "Song With Orange," feature sections later dropped in the released version, but the real joy is not found in discographical oddities but in the amazing music itself. This is Mingus at or near the height of his powers, working with two of his very finest bands (tracks one through three are performed by a sextet, tracks four through six by a tentet). No self-respecting fan can possibly be without it. The booklet contains a fine essay by Mingus biographer Brian Priestley.
© Brian Olewnick /TiVo

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Alternate Takes

Charles Mingus

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1
Better Git It In Your Soul Alternate
00:08:29

JIMMY KNEPPER, Trombone - Booker Ervin, Tenor Saxophone - Teo Macero, Producer - Horace Parlan, Piano - Shafi Hadi, Tenor Saxophone - John Handy, Alto Saxophone - C. Mingus, Composer - Charles Mingus, Performer - Charles Mingus, Bass - Dannie Richmond, Drums

Originally recorded 1959 & released 1993. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Bird Calls Alternate
00:04:52

Dannie Richmond, Drums - C. Mingus, Composer - Teo Macero, Producer - Charles Mingus, Performer - Charles Mingus, Bass - Shafi Hadi, Alto Saxophone - John Handy, Alto Saxophone - Booker Ervin, Tenor Saxophone - Horace Parlan, Piano

Originally recorded 1959 & released 1993. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Jelly Roll Alternate
00:06:40

JIMMY KNEPPER, Trombone - Booker Ervin, Tenor Saxophone - Teo Macero, Producer - Horace Parlan, Piano - Shafi Hadi, Alto Saxophone - John Handy, Alto Saxophone - C. Mingus, Composer - Charles Mingus, Performer - Charles Mingus, Bass - Dannie Richmond, Drums

Originally recorded 1959 & released 1993. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Song With Orange Alternate
00:06:41

JIMMY KNEPPER, Trombone - Richard Williams, Trumpet - Booker Ervin, Tenor Saxophone - Teo Macero, Producer - John Handy, Tenor Saxophone - C. Mingus, Composer - Charles Mingus, Performer - Charles Mingus, Bass - Dannie Richmond, Drums - Jerome Richardson, Baritone Saxophone - Roland Hanna, Piano - Benny Golson, Tenor Saxophone

Originally Recorded 1959 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

5
Diane Alternate
00:07:29

JIMMY KNEPPER, Trombone - Richard Williams, Trumpet - Booker Ervin, Tenor Saxophone - Teo Macero, Producer - John Handy, Tenor Saxophone - C. Mingus, Composer - Charles Mingus, Performer - Charles Mingus, Bass - Dannie Richmond, Drums - Jerome Richardson, Baritone Saxophone - Roland Hanna, Piano - Benny Golson, Tenor Saxophone

Originally Recorded 1959 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

6
New Now Know How Alternate
00:04:18

Nicole Bunink, Piano - Dannie Richmond, Drums - C. Mingus, Composer - Teo Macero, Producer - Charles Mingus, Performer - Charles Mingus, Bass - John Handy, Alto Saxophone - Booker Ervin, Tenor Saxophone - JIMMY KNEPPER, Trombone

Originally Released 1993 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

Album Description

Although Charles Mingus released a number of albums which count among the all-time greats of modern jazz, most lists of his best would include Mingus Ah Um and Mingus Dynasty, the utterly thrilling, innovative sessions from 1959. Alternate Takes provides just that from those dates -- alternate versions of six pieces, all of them noteworthy. Occasionally, one can hear why a certain take wasn't retained for the final album: On "Better Git It in Your Soul"," for example, the theme as stated by the front line comes back too quickly, trampling on a Dannie Richmond drum solo. But even that raggedness is none too off-putting in a Mingus-ian context where a certain amount of chaos is both expected and welcome. In fact, if the listener just forgets about the whole idea of alternate takes, he or she can simply wallow in one stupendous Mingus composition after another. Saxophonists John Handy and Booker Ervin are glorious in their rare combination of hyper intelligence and deep soul, and Jimmy Knepper is his normal, outstanding self. Some of the pieces, like "Song With Orange," feature sections later dropped in the released version, but the real joy is not found in discographical oddities but in the amazing music itself. This is Mingus at or near the height of his powers, working with two of his very finest bands (tracks one through three are performed by a sextet, tracks four through six by a tentet). No self-respecting fan can possibly be without it. The booklet contains a fine essay by Mingus biographer Brian Priestley.
© Brian Olewnick /TiVo

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