Charles Mingus : Dynasty

Charles Mingus : Dynasty


John Handy (alto sax), Booker Ervin, Benny Golson (tenor sax), Jerome Richardson (baritone sax), Richard Williams (trumpet), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Teddy Charles (vibraphone), Roland Hanna (piano), Charles Mingus (bass), Dannie Richmond (drums)

Columbia 8236

Pure Pleasure Records : 2 LPs 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

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A1 - Slop (unedited version)
A2 - Diane
B1 - Song With Orange (unedited version)
B2 - Gunslinging Bird (unedited version)
C1 - Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (unedited version)
C2 - Far Wells, Mill Valley
C3 - New Now, Know How
D1 - Mood Indigo
D2 - Put Me In The Dungeon
D3 - Strollin’ (not on original LP)

Recorded on November 1 and 13, 1959, at Columbia 30th Street Studios in New York City.

Mingus Dynasty is the companion album to Charles Mingus's other 1959 record, Mingus Ah Um, and was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The title alludes to Mingus's ancestry which was partially Chinese, as the LP's original cover photograph of a mock-imperious Mingus in full Chinese emperor regalia was eye-catching.

Mingus Ah Um catapulted Charles Mingus from a much-discussed semi-underground figure to a near-universally accepted and acclaimed leader in modern jazz. Perhaps that's why his Columbia follow-up, Mingus Dynasty, is often overlooked in his canon - it's lost in the shadow of its legendary predecessor, both because of that album's achievement and the fact that it's just a notch below the uppermost echelon of Mingus' work. Having said that, Mingus Dynasty is still an excellent album; in fact, it's a testament to just how high a level Mingus was working on that an album of this caliber could have gotten lost in the shuffle. There's a definite soundtrack quality to a great deal of the music here, and indeed the majority of Mingus' originals here were composed for film and television scores and an expanded, nine- to ten-piece group. On some pieces, Mingus refines and reworks territory he'd previously hit upon. "Slop," for example, is another gospel-inflected 6/8 stormer, composed for a TV production that requested a piece similar to "Better Get It in Your Soul." The ferocious "Gunslinging Bird" follows a similar pattern, and it's the same piece whose full title, "If Charlie Parker Were a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats," is given elsewhere. There are a couple of numbers from the Ellington songbook that both feature cellos -- "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and a fantastic, eight-minute "Mood Indigo" -- and a couple of pieces that rely on the even more tightly orchestrated approach of Mingus' pre-Pithecanthropus Erectus days -- "Far Wells, Mill Valley" and the atonal but surprisingly tender and melodic "Diane".

The "golden age" of recordings was from 1955 to 1965, at the beginning of the LP and the stereo era, where pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and illumination.

This Pure Pleasure LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas.