Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

Mingus and his “Tijuana Moods”

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This album was recorded in 1957 but was released in 1962. Although it mentions on the cover that Mingus supposedly feels it was his best work, I’m not sure it’s true. Maybe so but after listening to all his other works, I’m sure he would take that back. It is also notable that the name “Charlie Mingus” appears on the cover of the original album. Mingus hated all nicknames derived from Charles and was quoted to say “Don’t call me Charlie; that’s not a man’s name, that’s a name for a horse.” That’s hilarious and is a testament to Mingus’s character. “Tijuana Moods” is a must-have album to add to your Mingus collection and with a group of musicians that were basically unknowns: Clarence Shaw (trumpet), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Shafi Hadi (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone), Bill Triglia (piano), Dannie Richmond (drums), Ysabel Morel (castanets, vocals), Frankie Dunlop (percussion), Lonnie Elder (vocals). Just another example of how Mingus was able to get the best out of any musician, either if they liked it or not. Excellent album, enjoy!

About the album:

Charles Mingus has been quoted as saying that this is the best album he ever made, and that’s recommendation enough. The second song alone, “Ysabel’s Table Dance,” is a brilliant blending of Latin rhythms and Mingus jazz that even the most casual listener will find entrancing–10-plus minutes of castanet-frenzied joy make one yearn to see what Mingus and his running buddies encountered in Mexico. (The bassist wrote that he took the trip to Tijuana “minus a wife” specifically to lose himself, and instead found music and sights to inspire a masterpiece.) “Los Mariachis (The Street Musicians)” manages to evoke both intimate moments with its unaccompanied solos and the enforced fun and bounce that street musicians must employ to earn their bread. “Dizzy Moods” doffs a cap to Dizzy Gillespie’s own forays into Latin music……Read More


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