Mingus Ah Um



There is some music that typically stays in the background. I enjoy listening to jazz while I read, or entertain friends. And likewise, there are instruments that typically take the back seat to others. The bass usually plays a supporting role, keeping the time and maintaining the pace. Jazz musician, Charles Mingus played bass in the middle part of the 20th century, but he was no second fiddle, and he definitely took back seat to no one. Mingus lead the way, playing with the greats like Monk, Coltrane, Ellington and more. He was part of a new breed of jazz musician in the 50’s that took the genre in a new direction, transforming Bebop into Hard Bop and beyond. Like Ellington, Mingus was a ardent composer, always writing. He was an artist, activist, a true Renaissance man.

Today’s Runner, Mingus Ah Um kicks off with the classic Better Git It In Your Soul, taken in a hard-charging 6/8 and punctuated by joyous gospel shouts. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and Boogie Stop Shuffle take you to the set of the 60’s TV versions of Batman and the Green Hornet. The incidental music was obviously modeled after the signature sound on this album. There are some tributes to the Duke and Jelly Roll Morton here as well.

Total run time is 72 minutes. Great, great stuff!

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