If you are not a jazz buff and want to get into the music, where do you start? If you just want to taste the music of the recognised greats, how do you know what albums to buy / listen to? And fancy some Charles Mingus – well he recorded over 60 albums in his relatively short life!
I don’t know the answers to the questions posed above one way to discover jazz music is to listen to Jazz Library on BBC Radio 3. This programme is a great primer and an excellent way to discover the whole range of music that can be found sheltering under the big umbrella of Jazz.
The presenter Alyn Shipton and his guest and Mingus Biographer Brian Priestley surveyed the work of Mingus in May 2007 and recommended Mingus Ah Um as the place to start exploring his music. That is good enough for me.
I’ve had the album for about 3 weeks now (early Easter present with the emphasis being on early!) and I realised that I know almost all of the tracks. Mingus’s tunes have been covered by many artists but I was still surprised to recognise so many of the tunes.
Much of Mingus Ah Um is upbeat, but the track I have chosen to post is a more reflective piece, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Mingus’s tribute to saxophonist Lester Young who had died shortly before the album was recorded.