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Tijuana Moods

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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Charles Mingus (bass); Lonnie Elder (vocals); Shafi Hadi (alto saxophone); Clarence Shaw (trumpet); Jimmy Knepper (trombone); Bill Triglia (piano); Danny Richmond (drums); Ysabel Morel (castanets); Frankie Dunlop (percussion).
  • Reissue producer: John Snyder.
  • Recorded at RCA Victor's Studio A, New York, New York on July 18 & August 6, 1957. Includes liner notes by Charles Mingus, Martin Williams and Ed Michel.
  • Personnel: Charles Mingus (vocals, bass); Ysabel Morel (vocals); Lonnie Felder (spoken vocals); Shafi Hadi (alto & tenor saxophones); Clarence Shaw (trumpet); Jimmy Knepper (trombone); Bill Triglia (piano); Dannie Richmond (drums); Frankie Dunlop (castanets).
  • Producer: Bob Rolontz.
  • Recorded at RCA Studio A, New York, New York on July 18 and August 6, 1957. Originally released on RCA (2533).
  • 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, and the riff of "Tijuana Gift Shop" sets up a galloping tune that suggests the excitement a tourist feels in any authentic, potently exotic locale.
Professional Reviews
Down Beat (p.80) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[TIJUANA MOODS is] the 1957 masterpiece on which Mingus asserts full control over his longform chops."

Down Beat (3/97, p.59) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...features...some of Mingus' most important compositions..."

Down Beat (8/30/62) - 5 Stars.

Down Beat (12/01, p.90) - 4.5 stars out of 5 - "...This collection allows us to observe Mingus in the midst of his truly creative process..."f Uncut (8/01, p.96) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...[A] mindblowing collection....Its breathtaking scope prefigures many innovations made under the rock rubric in the Sixties..."

Highly Recommended
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