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Mingus’ “Tijuana Moods” Reborn

A historic concert tour revives an underrated masterwork by the bassist-composer

Mingus Dynasty performs "Tijuana Moods" in San Diego, on Jan. 22
Mingus Dynasty performs “Tijuana Moods” in San Diego; Jan. 22, 2018 (photo by Daniel Atkinson)

“Charles Mingus would be very proud of this band,” said Charles McPherson, shortly after the Mingus Dynasty’s sold-out “Tijuana Moods” concert in San Diego on Jan. 22.

If anyone is qualified to offer an expert evaluation of this seven-man ensemble—and suggest how its iconic namesake would have rated the group’s performance—it’s McPherson. The esteemed alto saxophonist was hired by Mingus in late 1959. He remained with the towering bassist, composer and bandleader until 1972, performing on numerous Mingus recordings and in myriad concerts.

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