Track Selection: “Jump Monk” >
Charles Mingus (b) Mal Waldron (p) George Barrow (ts) Eddie Bert (trom) Willie Jones (d) Recorded 1955, I think at the same sessions as the previous Mingus Quintet with Max Roach, Bohemia NY.
This is Mingus at his best. A reworking of Monk, quirky meets quirky, it has a tremendous restless energy, and tremendous self-confidence. When you are breaking the mould you have to believe in yourself, or at least make out that you do. Love the interweaving tenor sax and trombone, the whole track swings without obviously swinging, you hear Mingus urging his players on. Barrow’s phrasing on tenor is especially tasty.
Vinyl Stuff – pressing, labels and cover
Mono, as it should be, deep groove of course , and .. err.. red vinyl. Does it sound “red”? Not really. A few crackles, but it is over 55 years old and no virgin, it has been around the turntable a few times.
Being a Fantasy Debut it is a Fifties original pressing and so has the best possible opportunity to be sonically wonderful, just one step from the tapes, all analog technology from start to finish.Sit back and enjoy a front row seat at The Bohemia, NY 1955.
The cover liner notes have forsaken the previous folksy cartoon font heading, and replaced it with an equally odd calligraphic serif face – as you might write with an italic pen – all thin and thick strokes. Retaining the faux-biblical decorative first letter to the body copy. The designer, or the producers girlfriend more likely, had no talent for design. At least the musicians knew what they are doing. You can see how Mingus came to his jaundiced view of record companies.
I have this recording in Stereo on the French “America” label and it is a pretty nice sounding pressing, but I simply could not pass up the opportunity to own this on RED vinyl. Crazy I know, but it’s RED, and originating in the mid fifties when it shouldn’t be RED, it should be black, so I just had to have it, it’s so quirky. (In case you were rushing out to buy every red vinyl record you can find, the downside of red is that it is much more difficult to assess the vinyl condition for scratches and scuffs.)