Charles_mingus-mingus_three_span3
December 1997

Charles Mingus
Mingus Three
Roulette

This rare trio date with pianist Hampton Hawes and longtime cohort Danny [sic] Richmond on drums is as much a showcase for Mingus as it is Hawes. In his autobiography, Hawes describes standing on 45th and Broadway looking to score when Mingus walked up, asked if he needed money then offered him this record date. "I fixed and made [it]," Hawes wrote. Mingus, in a way, got even when he called a blues. In Nat Hentoff's liner notes, Mingus is quoted as saying that he wanted "to make Hamp play even more basic blues than he has been accustomed to" and on "Back Home Blues," you can feel Mingus pushing Hawes deeper and deeper. As Hentoff sagely observed, "...although there is an overall feeling of fusion, of tempered rapport, this is as much a dialogue between [them] with punctuation from Richmond as it is a group expression." A fascinating sidelight in both of their careers.

Originally published in December 1997
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