Mingus Ah Um and Mingus Dynasty contain some of the most visceral music that Mingus, the Vulcan of bassists, ever recorded. Columbia reissued the albums in the mid-1990s as CD versions of the original LPs. This box set restores cuts made 40 years ago to accommodate LP time restrictions and includes a third disc of alternate takes. In most cases, the restored music amounts to a minute or so, but “Bird Calls,” “Pussy Cat Dues,” “Song With Orange” and “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” each get back three minutes, more or less. There have been cases in which cuts improved recordings and others in which they would have been a good idea. These restorations are fully justified on musical grounds.
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