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I won't write a review of the music of this jazz classic.
Instead, I'm reviewing this vinyl edition by Music On Vinyl. Wow! If only all new vinyl was done to this high standard! The sleeve quality is fantastic and the vinyl itself housed in a high quality inner sleeve. This vinyl itself is beautifully quiet. No pops or crackles. The music sounds open, it breathes, you can feel and hear the texture of the instruments.
I buy a lot of vinyl both new and used. I use a reasonably good turntable (Rega Planar 2). I highly recommend this edition of Mingus Ah Um on Music On Vinyl. Watch out - there are other inferior editions on also available on new vinyl and typically a few dollars cheaper.
Despite the many complaints about certain reissue labels, this particular reissue, on heavyweight 180 gm blue vinyl, is faultless. In fact, it is so good that this has become one of my favourites. Quiet, very low noise floor, amazing depth and detail, bargain-priced. Who could ask for more?
This album shows what Charlie Mingus could achieve. It sounds aggressive and exciting. The free solos are actually disciplined and not too long for their content, even though the tracks are mostly quite long the quality of improvisation makes them feel compact and the whole album swings. It seems to me that the combo knew each other well and knew to how pass the solo baton before their inspriation had ceased. It also sounds like it has the strucure of an Ellington small group but with a more exciting and immediate sense of purpose. It is much more satisfying too my ears than the contemporary Free Jazz of Ornette Coleman