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The legendary bass player Charlie Mingus is featured this week on The Listening Party, Saturday 10pm. Hear his classic Columbia recording Mingus Ah Um with your host Roxane Gagne.

Charles Mingus' debut for Columbia, Mingus Ah Um is a stunning summation of the bassist's talents and probably the best reference point for beginners. While it may not quite reach the dizzying heights and energy of his later Impulse recording Black Saint & The Sinner Lady, Mingus Ah Um is more about the individual tunes than a particular concept. 

The band includes longtime Mingus stalwarts already well versed in his music, like saxophonists John Handy, Shafi Hadi, and Booker Ervin; trombonists Jimmy Knepper and Willie Dennis; pianist Horace Parlan; and drummer Dannie Richmond. Their razor-sharp performances tie together what may well be Mingus' greatest, most emotionally varied set of compositions.

 

The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003.