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Mingus On Vinyl?

Discussion in 'music' started by kjb, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. kjb

    kjb Losing my edge

    I've been playing a lot of Mingus over the past few weeks - one of those artists I come back to again and again.

    My Mingus records are spread pretty evenly across CD and vinyl but the vinyl editions are mainly mid price repackages from the 80s - a CBS I love jazz edition of Mingus Ah Um, an Italian series reprint of The Clown, a twofer of Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus and Black Saint and Sinner Lady, none of which have original sleeve art. Only Oh Yeah and Present Charles Mingus are nice editions.

    Looking on line the bulk of the Mingus vinyl seem to be out of copyright versions on Dol etc.

    Has anyone got links to good quality recordings or good quality remasters or other recommendations? Mingus seems far less well represented in good quality current vinyl than Miles, Coltrane, Monk or any of the Blue Note recordings.

  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Don’t touch the DOL etc pirates with a barge poll. I’d go second-hand every time. Obviously the closer you get to US first-pressings the better (I have a stunning 1st press of Black Saint!) but there are plenty of options.

    For RCA: if you can track copies of the Classic Records audiophile cuts of Ah Um and Tijuana Moods down do so, they are just stunning. Amazing records.

    Atlantic: US and as old as you can afford, though don’t turn your nose up at ‘70s repressings, they are actually very good IMO. Japanese are great too, though likely dearer.

    Impulse: The Speakers Corner reissues are very well regarded, though sound very different to originals (much warmer and less in yer face, I’m not a huge fan). The sleepers IMO are the ‘80s DMM MCA reissues with the nice paper-on-board gatefold sleeves, printed advertising inners and blue ‘rainbow’ MCA labels. These are *really* good IMO and have a lot of the impact and directness of US originals, and they are certainly not overpriced yet. I’d avoid the ‘90s 180g reissues, they sound very flat and dead to me.

    There are obviously tons other than these that I’ve no opinion on as I've never heard them!
    mikechadwick likes this.
  3. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    The DeAgostini Jazz 33's number 11 Ar Um and number 45 Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus reproduce the original cover art and record labels to good standard and the mastering is pretty good as well and compares fairly well to early issues I have of both. "From the master tapes" (?), but I suspect a digital copy master though as pressed in Europe. Good value at £14.99 each. As Tony says avoid anything from DOL or Jazz Wax.
  4. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I have a few of his on vinyl & find the sound quality pretty good. I fear some of them may have been bought new in the 90s so probably not the best. He does seem underrepresented in the reissue stakes.
  5. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    The Rhino 180g reissue of the mono 'Pithecanthropus Erectus' that I have, has the original artwork, and is pretty good if you can find one. Beware of some of the other issues though.
  6. RickyC6

    RickyC6 Infuriate the frog-men

    A good few of mine are US Atlantic reissues I picked up in London circa early 2000s. And all sound damn good.
  7. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    The 1980s Atlantic reissues are very nice sounding IMO and probably better than the late 1960s ones. I don't have any early or 1st press Atlantic Mingus but I am familiar with a few of the later 1960s pressings.

    Mingus Ah Um has been reissued by MoV. Sounds quite good although I've not heard an early press and is probably from a digital master (high rez?).

    The good thing I suppose is Mingus records (for reasons I can't fathom) are still fairly affordable, unless you absolutely must have the first pressings.
  8. MusicMiles

    MusicMiles pfm Member

    Mobile Fidelity is planning a One Step of Ah Um in the not too distant future.
  9. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    I have a few originals which sound great (especially 'Mingus Dynasty') and can be picked up for not completely silly money, but my best in terms of SQ are the ORG 2 x 45 pressing of 'Ah Um' (which has the extended versions of the songs) and the Analogue Productions 2 x 45 'Black Saint'.
  10. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    One original worth having that can still be found fairly cheaply (NM around £20) is 'Live in Paris 1964, Vol 2' (I have never seen a Vol 1?). Released in 1988 an ESOLDUN archive recording distributed by the French Wortre Music. The Mingus Quintet with Clifford Jordan, Eric Dolphy, Jaki Byard & Danny Richmond. It was supposed to be a sextet, but Johnny Coles left before the concert. Just two long tracks 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat', side 1 & 'Parkeriana', side two. Mono and not the very last word in sound quality but not bad at all and the solos come across very well. Dolphy & Jordan are excellent. My pressing is flat and quiet.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It deserves it, that one is a stunning recording.
    MusicMiles likes this.
  12. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I'm guessing it was titled Vol.2 because the label had already released this LP from a different 1964 Paris date:

    I think France's Concert is quite an interesting series and as you say can often be found quite cheaply - though looking on Discogs the prices of some of the titles seem to be creeping up!
  13. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Thanks. I had not realised that was in that series. I may risk the one of the VG+ ones. NM getting expensive.

    I'm playing 'Tijuana Moods' in the 1962 UK RCA (Decca) mono original at the moment (mine a NM copy) that sounds amazing. I was given this by a friend years ago, but I see on Discogs that NM can still be had for under £50 and VG+ even cheaper. It seems Mingus originals or early pressings do not reach the stratospheric prices of many other Jazz musicians.
  14. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Superior Viaduct’s Black Saint sounds very good to me.
  15. kjb

    kjb Losing my edge

    The next RSD has an edition of Mingus Ah Um on double vinyl with some out takes.

    I already have a horrible looking I Love Jazz edition of the original edits on vinyl from the 80s ( hopefully someone is still suffering torments for replacing the great original cover with a snapshot of Mingus on a branded cover - ughh) and the extended CD with the outtakes. It's released by Get On Down records, double LP with the original on one record and the outtakes on another.

    Does anyone know anything about this imprint? From what I can see most of their stuff seems to be reissues of classic hip hop so I guess quite often pressed from digital sources.

  16. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Nothing at all, but if it is legit I’d certainly expect to see some Sony/Columbia/CBS copyright & licensing on the cover and label somewhere.
  17. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    I wonder how these really tie in with ‘The Great Concert’ in terms of dates? They all appear to have been recorded within a couple of days of each other, but the info on the French discs is a little wobbly (apparently the half-hour version of what is claimed to be ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’ is really ‘So Long Eric’ which makes more sense to me.)
  18. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

  19. kjb

    kjb Losing my edge

    Thanks Paul,

    that's much as I suspected. I think I'll stick to my plan of trying to pick up a copy of the second issue of the Bill Evans "Some Other Time" which I missed first time round and stick with my current editions of Ah Um until I come across a decent pressing.

  20. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Perhaps the last sentence in Michael Fremer’s response to the review is appropriate...

    “Of course I would never censor Mr. Lui's writing and he's free to write whatever he wishes and fully express his opinions and for that matter on these pages his bladder, which he had done. However, I was surprised to find that he was too disinterested to find out anything else about the great Harry Belafonte other than that he made "cheesy 50s music that audiophiles seem to love". Of course everyone loved/loves Belafonte, not just audiophiles. That's why his Carnegie Hall album (10/10 music and sound) sold huge numbers when first released and the reissues still sell wildly well. I'm hoping Mr. Lui will take some time to learn about Belafonte's legacy by reading this: As for his assessment of the Ellington, at least he didn't say the Duke's music was "cheesy", but his description of the sound indicates he'll need a better system when he moves out of the house, which judging by my discussions with his parents, for them can't come soon enough! (lol).”

    The reviewer is 13-14 years old. Nothing wrong with that, but something to bear in mind when reading his reviews.

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