Charles “Baron” Mingus


This anthology collects a number of obscure 78s by Charles Mingus, many of which have not been reissued since they were originally released during the 1940s. Many of the vocal features are fairly traditional ballads, and Mingus was by no means an inventive lyricist, but it is the strong solos by the musicians within these tracks and the often rather progressive arrangements (even if their execution is not always perfect) that generally merit the most attention. One notable exception is Helen Carr's performance on the standard “Say It Isn't So,” which opens with a superb bass solo by Mingus. Carr's sultry vocal is also accompanied by her then-husband Donn Trenner on piano; tragically, her only other recordings prior to her premature death were two records for Bethlehem. Among the instrumental tracks, “Shuffle Bass Boogie” is a lively 12-bar blues featuring Mingus at the forefront and fine solos by saxophonists Lucky Thompson and Willie Smith (two of the bigger names among the cast of lesser-known players). Buddy Collette's “Bedspread” is a mid-tempo swinger that is obviously influenced by Duke Ellington, and features some choice solos, especially by tenor saxophonist William “Brother” Woodman and the composer on alto sax. The exotic “Mingus Fingers,” originally written by Mingus for Lionel Hampton, showcases Mingus in a boppish solo. Herb Caro, who died at 22, is heard on baritone sax on a big-band version of Mingus' “Story of Love” and on tenor sax in a later remake, which also features Eric Dolphy on alto sax and Russ Freeman on piano. Among the many other musicians heard on this CD are Roy Porter, Art Pepper, Richard Wyands, and Red Callender. Andrew Homzy's thorough liner notes and the many period photographs included provide additional insight into the early career of Charles Mingus. Highly recommended. by Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

1. The Texas Hop
2. Baby, Take a Chance With Me
3. Lonesome Woman Blues
4. Swingin' An Echo
5. Ain't Jivin' Blues
6. Baby, Take a Chance With Me
7. Shuffle Bass Boogie
8. Weird Nightmare
9. Make Believe
10. Honey, Take a Chance With Me
11. Bedspread
12. This Subdues My Passion
13. Pipe Dream
14. Mingus Fingers
15. These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)
16. Story of Love
17. He's Gone
18. Pennies From Heaven
19. Lyon's Roar
20. Say It Isn't So
21. Boppin' In Boston
22. The Story of Love
23. Inspiration
24. He's Gone (Rehearsal Arrangement)
-Charles Mingus Sextet, 1-4:
N.R. 'Nat' Bates – trumpet
Maxwell Davies – tenor sax
William Woodman – tenor sax
Robert Mosley – piano
Charles Mingus – bass
Roy Porter – drums
Oradell Mitchell – vocals on 1 and 3
Everett Pettis – vocals on 2
-Charles Mingus Sextette, 5-8:
Karl George – trumpet
John Plonsky – trumpet
Henry Coker – trombone
Willie Smith – alto sax
Lucky Thompson – tenor sax
Gene Porter – baritone sax, clarinet
Wilbert Baranco – piano
Buddy Harper – guitar
Charles Mingus – bass
Lee Young – drums
Claude Trenier – vocals on 5, 6 and 8
-Baron Mingus And His Octet, 9-13:
Karl George – trumpet
John Anderson – trumpet
William Woodman – tenor sax, baritone sax
Buddy Collette – alto sax, clarinet
Britt Woodman – trombone
Lady Will Carr – piano
Louis Speigner – rhythm guitar
Charles Mingus – bass
Lee Young – drums
Claude Trenier – vocals on 9 and 10
-Baron Mingus And His Rhythm, 14-15:
Buddy Collette – alto sax, clarinet
Jimmy Bunn – piano
Charles Mingus – bass
Chuck Thompson – drums
-Charles 'Barron' Mingus Presents His Symphonic Airs, 16-17:
John Coppola – trumpet
Vernon Carlson – trumpet
Allen Smith – trumpet
Andy Peele – trumpet
Bob Olney – alto sax, clarinet, flute
Bud Hooven – alto sax
Morrie Stewart – tenor sax
Alex Megyesey – tenor sax
Don Smith – tenor sax
Herb Caro – baritone sax
Haig Eshow – trombone
Bob Lowry – trombone
possibly Hawes Coleman – trombone
Richard Wyands – piano
Charles Mingus – bass
Cal Tjader – drums
Johnny Berger – percussion
Dante Perfumo – flute
Jean McGuire – cello
Herb Gayle – vocals on 17
-Barron Mingus And His Rhythm, 18-19:
Herb Caro – baritone sax
Buzz Wheeler – piano
Charles Mingus – bass
Warren Thompson – drums
Herb Gayle – vocals on 18
-Baron Mingus And His Rhythm, 20-21:
Tommy Alexander – trumpet
Herb Caro – tenor sax
Bob Lowry – trombone
Donn Trenner – piano
-Charles Mingus – bass, scat vocals on 21
Johnny Berger – drums
Helen Carr – vocals on 20
-Charlie Mingus And His 22 Piece Bebop Band (Stan Kenton's Sidemen), 22-23:
Buddy Childers – trumpet
John Anderson – trumpet
Hobart Dotson – trumpet
Eddie Preston – trumpet
probably one or two unknown – trumpet
Eric Dolphy – alto sax, flute, clarinet
Art Pepper – alto sax, clarinet
Herb Caro – tenor sax, clarinet
probably William Green – tenor sax, clarinet, flute
Jewel Grant – alto sax, clarinet
Gene Porter – baritone sax, clarinet
Britt Woodman – trombone
Jimmy Knepper – trombone
Marty Smith – trombone
Russ Freeman – piano
Charles Mingus – bass
Red Callender – bass
Roy Porter – drums
possibly Johnny Berger – percussion
unknown – guitar
Charles Mingus – piano
Date and location
1-4: Fall of 1945, Los Angeles
5-8: end of January 1946, Los Angeles
9-13: April 20, 1946, Los Angeles
14-15: early November 1948, Los Angeles
16-17: mid-February 1949, San Francisco
18-19: February 1949, San Francisco
20-21: late February-early March 1949, Los Angeles
22-23: Spring 1949, Hollywood, California
24: February 10, 1949, Ralph Manza's home, San Francisco
Originally released (all 78 except 24)
1,2: Excelsior 132/133
3,4: Excelsior 134/135
5,6: Excelsior 162 A/B
7,8: Excelsior 163 A/B
9,11: 4 Star 1107
10,12: 4 Star 1108
13: 4 Star 1106
14,15: Dolphins Of Hollywood 200 A/B
16,17: Fentone 2002 A/B
18,19: Fentone 2003 A/B
20,21: Dolphins Of Hollywood 300 A/B
22: Rex Hollywood 28002A
23: Rex Hollywood 28014A
24: previously unissued