Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Mingus Ah Um

Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um (Columbia, 1959)

An album that begins with the one-two punch of “Better Git It in Your Soul” and “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” is automatically going to be a classic. Add the beautiful “Open Letter to Duke” and the searing “Fables of Faubus,” plus a nonpareil ensemble including John Handy, Booker Ervin, and Horace Parlan, not to mention the leader’s remarkable bass playing, and it becomes downright iconic. Mingus made more ambitious, more unified albums than Mingus Ah Um, but he never made a more memorable one. MICHAEL J. WEST

Learn more about Mingus Ah Um on Amazon and Apple Music.