The bassist-composer Charles Mingus (1922-79), like his idol Duke Ellington, experimented relentlessly with his compositions, forever seeking new instrumental combination, voicings, tonal colors, and rhythmic surges. The 1953 performances herein, with the exception of pianist Spaulding Givens’s "Blue Tide," were composed by Mingus a decade earlier and reshaped by him for this often startling ensemble-plus-occasional-vocalist (Janet Thurlow, whose reading of "Eclipse" never fails to astonish). As for the 1957 quintets led by longtime Mingus trombonist-arranger Jimmy Knepper (b. 1927), they are prime post-Bird bebop with various twists that feature the adroit solos of the leader, afford a rare spotlight to the slashing altoist Joe Maini (1930-64), and are culled from the 12-CD boxed set The Complete Debut Recordings of Charles Mingus.
with Ernie Royal, Willie Dennis, Eddie Caine, Teo Macero, John Lewis, Jackson Wiley, Kenny Clarke, Joe Maini, Bill Triglia, Dannie Richmond