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Music Music July 17, 2004
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Charles Mingus
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
1963

This one's easy. This record is pretty much an acknowledged masterpiece. With the six tracks of Black Saint, Mingus created a musical collage like no one had ever heard in 1963, mixing styles from flamenco to film noir. The album starts off so quietly and, at times, thunders, but there's much more than simple modulation. There's a feeling of looseness, but you never once suspect that the music is improvised rather than composed. The poetry is so insistent. Some say this isn't the album for those who are new to Charles Mingus. I say you shouldn't bet against a sure winner. For those of you who are already fans, mark your calendars for next week's re-release of The Great Concert of Charles Mingus, recorded in Paris in 1964.


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