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September 5, 2008

"Tijuana Moods" - Charles Mingus

This is a near flawless performance in my opinion.  I love the whimsicality of Mingus' compositions, and how the band alters the tempos constantly during tracks displaying how tight these guys were.  Mingus is praised for joining highly arranged parts mixed with sections where it sounds like the band is falling down stairs.  In this 1957 (released in 1962) session we can hear early demonstrations of this concept, and even though you don't immediately think of Mingus when you hear the term "free jazz," he certainly was an influence and opened a lot of doors for the avant-garde.

Dizzy Moods starts off calm with well harmonizing ensemble parts and straight forward solos.  Following this is the more roller coaster of a cut, Ysabel's Table Dance, which demonstrates the influence the city of Tijuana had on Mingus; this album was recorded shortly after a trip he had there.

One milestone is that this album solidified Dannie Richmond as a drummer for Mingus.  Prior to this he played sax in the band.  If you are a fan of "Tijuana Moods," check out "The Clown."  Both records pair nicely. 
1962 - RCA.
Charles Mingus -bass; Jimmy Knepper - Trombone; Curtis Porter - Shafti Hadi, Alto Sax; Clarence Shaw - Trumpet; Bill Triglia - Piano; Dannie Richmond - Drums; Frankie Dunlop - Percussion; Ysabel Morel - Castanets; Lonnie Elder - Voices.