Personnel: Charles Mingus (acoustic bass); Gunther Schuller (conductor); Lorraine Cousins (vocals); Eric Dolphy, Yusef Lateef (saxophone, flute); Booker Ervin, John La Porta, Bill Barron, Jr., Danny Bank, Joe Farrell (saxophone); Marcus Belgrave, Hobart Dotson, Clark Terry, Ted Curson, Richard Williams (trumpet); Slide Hampton, Charles Greenlee, Eddie Bert, Jimmy Knepper (trombone); Don Butterfield (tuba); Robert Di Domenica (flute); Harry Shulman (oboe); Charlie McCracken (cello); Roland Hanna, Paul Bley (piano); Danny Richmond (drums, percussion); George Scott, Sticks Evans (drums).
Recorded in New York, New York on May 24 & 25, 1960. Includes liner notes by Leonard Feather.
Digitally remastered by Kiyoshi Tokiwa.
Released originally in 1960 as PRE-BIRD, then reissued in '65 under its present title, MINGUS REVISITED is an excellent, madcap ride through the multi-faceted, protean world of Mingus. It's all here: the savage, churched-out blues of "Prayer For Passive Resistance," the deconstructed big band aesthetic of "Mingus Fingus #2" and "Bemoanable Lady," and the experiments marrying two separate melodies based on similar harmonic lines, such as the interpolation of "Exactly Like You" in "Take the 'A' Train."
Two very distinctive tracks feature the work of vocalist Lorraine Cousins, who performs Mingus' difficult intervals, especially on the atmospheric, unsettling "Weird Nightmare," with impressive skill. The final track, "Half-Mast Inhibition," is a classic Mingus potpourri of classical passages, waltzes, hair-raising solos, shifting dynamics and mounting tension. The musicianship on this album is, as usual, top-flight; Jimmy Knepper, Yusef Lateef and Eric Dolphy crop up among the 22-piece ensemble. MINGUS REVISITED is an all-encompassing look at the diverse fruits of Mingus' brilliance, and merits a place in any adventurous jazz-lover's library.
Q (5/97, p.139) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...The emphasis is on pieces that feel like compressed symphonies, ideas filling four minutes that would otherwise flesh out much longer works..."