Charles Mingus – Moanin’

One of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite artists. Charles Mingus was one of the great jazz bandleaders, producing a very unique style of jazz that could be raucous or mellow, but was never boring. He put a large emphasis on collective improvisation, how the band all worked together for each part of the song. He’s notorious for throwing his bass at a band member during a concert, when the band member wasn’t finding the groove. “Moanin'” is a standout from Mingus’s 1959 album Blues & Roots. It always blows my mind that such advanced, exploratory music was being played so early in what we (or at least, I) think of as the popular music timeline. The baritone sax line is killer. I wish there was a video of Mingus and his band plying this, but alas YouTube is lacking.

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