A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry

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A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry
Studio album by Charles Mingus
Released 1957
Recorded October 1957
Genre Jazz
Length 57:29
Label Bethlehem
Producer Jeff Palo
Charles Mingus chronology
East Coasting
A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry
Weary Blues
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
LA Times 3.5/4 stars[2]
Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.) 3/4 stars[3]

A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry is an album by jazz bassist Charles Mingus. In spite of the title, the album does not contain any poetry.[1] "Scenes in the City", however, includes narration performed by Mel Stewart and written by actor Lonne Elder with assistance from Langston Hughes.[2][4][5] The composition "Duke's Choice" re-appears, in updated form, as "I X Love" on the 1963 album Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus.[6][7][8] "Nouroog", "Duke's Choice" and "Slippers" form the basis of the suite "Open Letter to Duke" on Mingus Ah Um.[9]

The CD issues of the album include three bonus tracks: the Dizzy Gillespie standard "Woody 'n' You", Charlie Parker's "Billie's Bounce", which is listed as "Bounce" and miscredited to Mingus, and an alternate take of "Slippers".[10]


The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow called it "An excellent set of challenging yet often accessible music".[1] The Penguin Guide to Jazz gives the album a three-star review (of a possible four stars), and describes it as "an opportunity for Mingus to experiment with texts and with pure sound".[3] The Penguin editors furthermore cite Clarence Shaw's performance on "New York Sketchbook" as "the best trumpet heard on a Mingus album for some time before or since".[3]

Track listing[edit]

All titles by Charles Mingus, except where noted.

  1. "Scenes in the City" (Music: Mingus; Narrative: Elder, Hughes) – 11:55
  2. "Nouroog" – 4:52
  3. "New York Sketchbook" – 8:55
  4. "Duke's Choice" – 6:27
  5. "Slippers" – 3:29
  6. "Woody 'n' You" (Gillespie) – 8:44
    • Mistitled "Wouldn't You" on earlier releases
  7. "Bounce" (Parker) – 9:22
  8. "Slippers (Alternate Take)" – 3:50



  1. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott (2011). "A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry - Charles Mingus | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Heckman, Don (2001-02-19). "A More Complete Introduction to Mingus". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 907. ISBN 0-14-102327-9. 
  4. ^ Hentoff, Nat (1957). A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry (CD booklet). Charles Mingus. Bethlehem Records/Shout! Factory. pp. 3–6. DK 37964. 
  5. ^ The liner notes credit "Lonnie Elders"; other sources credit "Lonne Elder III."
  6. ^ Santoro, Gene (2000). Myself when I Am Real. New York: Oxford University Press US. p. 413. ISBN 0-19-514711-1. 
  7. ^ Mathieson, Kenny (1999). Giant Steps. Canongate US. p. 217. ISBN 0-86241-859-3. 
  8. ^ Nat Hentoff identifies "Nouroog" as the precursor to "I X Love". Hentoff, Nat (1963). Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (CD booklet). Charles Mingus. Impulse! Records. pp. 2–10. IMPD-170. 
  9. ^ Priestley, Brian (1998). "Charles Mingus". Mingus Ah Um (CD booklet). Charles Mingus. Sony Music. pp. 17–20. CK 65512. 
  10. ^ Jenkins, Todd S. (2006). I Know what I Know: The Music of Charles Mingus. Westport, CT: Praeger. p. 55.