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Jose Reyes

About Mingus’ “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady,” and is it his best?

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If you simply ask any Charles Mingus fan which recording is his best, they would probably answer you with the obvious, “All his recording are great!” This would probably be my answer also, since I am a true fan of his work. This rationale, in my opinion, probably applies to all Mingus fans. I treat every recording of his, uniquely, they all have a different effect on me and they are all masterpieces! Now, if you ask a so-called “Jazz Aficionado” the same question, the answer would most likely be either this particular album or Mingus Ah Um. Both of these records would be the topic of conversation and discussed in detail. The other Mingus “masterpieces” would just get honorable mentions, with little said about them. We all know that Charles Mingus was a true genius, there’s no debating it but sadly he was given a “Raw Deal,” just as many other Jazz greats were. Being controversial was not accepted until the mid to late 60’s. Now, if Mingus was playing this now, he would flourish enormously and would most likely establish himself as an underground hero! His unique style of presenting and showcasing Jazz music in all sorts of improvisational moods, would make him an icon! This album here, “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady” is a unique masterpiece but again, not anything different from the others. All Mingus recordings are masterpieces and they all have a life of their own! Here’s the discography for this album.

Here’s the first track of this album:

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More on the album (AllAboutJazz.com):

Some Mingus albums are like a tremendous three-ring circus. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be struck with awe and delight. The music is absorbing, intense, harrowing, beautiful. Drop everything and run to the show, and don’t expect to get anything else done at the same time: this is about as far from background music as it gets. A great Mingus album is a totally involving experience. This is especially true of one of the only jazz albums to have liner notes written by a clinical psychologist: The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. Mingus chimes in with a peroration of his own, too, including, “I feel no need to explain any further the music herewith other than to say throw all other records of mine away except maybe one….Read More

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