Friday, 20 May 2016

Charles Mingus - Oh Yeah (1962)

I came to Mingus by the route that most people of my generation probably discover him, through Ah Um's well-deserved place in the canon of essentials of 50s jazz.  And as eternal as that record remains, it's this one from 1962 that remains my Mingus of choice ever since getting hold of it and being blown away by its sheer driving energy.

Oh Yeah isn't a record that's driven by Mingus' bullish bass playing, though - he sticks to piano throughout, harking back to blues and boogie woogie whilst forging forward into some of his most avant-garde material yet.  Responsibility for the latter is shared by the main reedsman on this set - Roland (not yet Rahsaan) Kirk brings his collection of rare and bespoke horns to the table and launches the material, not least the opening and closing tracks here, into an arena of skronking weirdness that was at least half a decade ahead of its time, and still sounds as fresh and vital as ever.

I wanna eat that chicken


  1. Hog Calling Blues is that rarity, a jazz song that's scary. The liner notes talk about Mingus trying to recreate with gusto the sounds of a slaughterhouse, then mentioning the Mingus's favorite meal was 3 pork chops.. Intense album to say the least, not one of my favorites but interesting.

  2. Thanks for sharing all the latest posts - can't wait to spend the day listening!

  3. Never heard this one. Thank you for sharing!