Album of the Day
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One of the true giants of jazz history, Charles Mingus blazed new trails as a bassist, bandleader and composer. With a resume including stints with Duke Ellington's orchestra, Mingus was ideally prepared to lead his own combos by 1956, when his Atlantic Records debut, PITHECANTHROPUS ERECTUS, hit the streets. A milestone in his musical evolution, the album showed Mingus tailoring his compositions to the strengths of his bandmates – in this case, Jackie McLean and J.R. Monterose on alto and tenor sax, pianist Mal Waldron and drummer Willie Jones. That's one reason their performance is so wonderfully cohesive on these four songs, particularly the title track, a ten minute, four-movement epic on man's rise and fall. Charles Mingus was born on this day in 1922, and we'll mark the occasion by excavating the seminal PITHECANTHROPUS ERECTUS.
Past Album of the Days
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