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East Coasting by Charles Mingus

Mingus originals, except for "Memories of You," written by Blake-Rasaf, this album was originally recorded in 1957 for Bethlehem Jazz; released in the shadow of his 1962 album Tijuana Moods, East Coasting is finally enjoying the success it should have had from the beginning.

Composer and bassist, Charles Mingus, to this day, has a stature bigger than life, 36 years after his death in 1979. Known for his outbursts of overwhelming emotion, Mingus found music to be his major outlet, and it shows.

East Coasting compiles an array of compositions spanning deep melancholy to ecstatic bursts of energy and smooth, thoughtful mellow tunes. "Memories of You," shows the incredible piano discourse of famed Bill Evans, as Knepper comes into the spotlight with a strong trombone line. Hadi's sax does a playful run along the spectrum of notes in this solemn composition.

Bursting into triumphant playfulness, Shaw's trumpet leads on "East Coasting," the title track. A wild exposition of interplay among the band members. Evans flexes his keyboard muscle while Mingus backs him with a deep bass in an up-tempo hard bop fling.

"West Coast Ghost" offers a solo bit on bass before being joined by Evans on keyboard. Swinging, bopping, the trumpet sounds a bit muted, bringing a bluesy feel to this jam. Then Hadi kicks in with a sweet, sensual play along the keys on sax. A few mysterious passages lead the listener into several spectrums of emotion before kicking into the next track, "Celia," where Shaw's trumpet takes a melancholy lead.

As the title says, "Conversation" is a great interplay between musicians, an intimate interaction with each complimenting the other's skill. First class all the way--just the way Mingus intended his music, classy, emotional, up close and personal.

Mingus earned his reputation as creator of complex sounds, bursting with energy and emotion. Today, his music is still revered around the world. This album is cause for celebration among Mingus fans.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Charles Mingus
  • CD Title: East Coasting
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Reissue Original Release: 1957
  • Record Label: Bethlehem Jazz
  • Tracks: Memories of You, East Coasting, West Coast Ghost, Celia, Conversation, Fifty-First Street Blues, East Coasting (bonus alternate take), Memories of You (bonus)
  • Musicians: Charles Mingus: bass, Jimmy Knepper: trombone, Shafi Hadi: alto& tenor sax, Clarence Shaw: trumpet, Dannie Richmond: drums, Bill Evans: piano
  • Rating: Five Stars
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