Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

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Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
Charles Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1964[1]
RecordedJanuary 20 & September 20, 1963
New York City
ProducerBob Thiele
Charles Mingus chronology
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
Mingus Plays Piano
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide4/5 stars[3]

Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus is a 1964 album by American jazz composer and bassist Charles Mingus.


Mingus collaborated with arranger/orchestrator Bob Hammer to score the music for a large ensemble of brass and saxophones.


A reviewer of Sputnik Music wrote "On a broader, more general level, Mingus x5 feels particularly sensual. There is about a 50–50 split between songs that are played as ballads, or at least slower swings, and songs that are played much faster, yet, the most dominant and memorable songs are the ones that take their time like "Mood Indigo" and "Theme for Lester Young." The faster pieces like "Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul" and "Hora Decubitus" feel like interludes and pacemakers for the true gems of the album. Though, those looking for Mingus' more physically demanding or virtuostic songs may prefer the more aggressive ones, which I feel are played better here than on any prior recording, I really prefer the tasteful and refined sense I get from the slower tracks, which are almost haunting in their beautiful, slow, drawling style. Indeed, it is a well recorded and clutch album to represent Mingus, though it is rather hodgepodge, due to the diversity of style, but I feel this album is a true classic in Mingus' catalogue, as well as in the jazz world. Unfortunately, this is not striking, new material, but mostly rerecordings making it stale for those looking for new stuff. I, however, as a relative Mingus n00b, love what I hear, even when held against the original recordings found on other LPs."[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Charles Mingus, except where noted.

  1. "II B.S." – 4:48
  2. "I X Love" – 7:41
  3. "Celia" – 6:14
  4. "Mood Indigo" (Duke Ellington/Barney Bigard) – 4:45
  5. "Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul" – 6:30
  6. "Theme for Lester Young" – 5:51
  7. "Hora Decubitus" – 4:41
  8. "Freedom" – 5:10 Bonus track on CD reissue

Some editions of this album, such as Impulse Records AS-54-B, exclude the track "Freedom."

Historical context[edit]

Most of the compositions on this album had been previously recorded or have since been rerecorded, some under different titles, on other albums.


Tracks #1 and 4–8, recorded on September 20, 1963:

Tracks #2 and 3, recorded on January 20, 1963:


  • Bob Thiele – Producer
  • Michael Cuscuna – Reissue Producer
  • Bob Simpson – Engineer
  • Erick Labson – Remastering


Freedom, by Charles Mingus (excerpt)

This mule ain't from Moscow,
this mule ain't from the South.
But this mule's had some learning,
mostly mouth-to-mouth.

The lyrics, "This mule ain't from Moscow", might be a reference to a Moscow Mule, a drink made of vodka and ginger beer popular in the 1950s, but is likely also referring to African-American slaves as the "mule".

Mingus performed a number of other songs with spoken poetry or narration:

  • "Scenes in the City"
  • "The Chill of Death"
  • "The Clown"
  • "Weary Blues" (read by Langston Hughes)
  • "Don't Let It Happen Here"
  • "It Was A Lonely Day In Selma, Alabama"
  • "Where Does A Man Go To Find Peace?"

Several of his other pieces have lyrics:

  • "Fables of Faubus"
  • "Oh Lord, Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb on Me"
  • "Devil Woman"


  1. ^ "New Album Releases". The Billboard Publishing Co. 1 February 1964.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 140. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  4. ^ "Charles Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus". Sputnik Music. sputnikmusic.com. 27 June 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. ^ Santoro, Gene (2000). Myself when I Am Real. New York: Oxford University Press US. p. 413. ISBN 0-19-514711-1.
  6. ^ Mathieson, Kenny (1999). Giant Steps. Canongate US. p. 217. ISBN 0-86241-859-3.
  7. ^ Conversely, 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.