The Best Charles Mingus Album


In 1995 I asked readers to vote for three best Charles Mingus albums. First album was obligatory and other two were optional. There were 45 votes for the 1st album, 35 for the 2nd and 30 for the 3rd one. 29 different album titles were voted.

Where... WHERE!?

Click one of these to see the results:

  1. Text file
  2. HTML file with tables

And now, some commentary

Now it's time to check the results of the best Charles Mingus album poll. It was quite predictable that Mingus Ah Um and The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady would compete with each other and they both became 'winners', The Black Saint having 10 votes in 1st category and Mingus Ah Um 20 votes in Total category. Mingus At Antibes was voted slightly better than Blues & Roots, which had more total votes.

There were some problem childs as well (I didn't ask for clarification, though). I know that there are at least two different albums released as Better Get It In Yo' Soul (with slight spelling differences): double album combining Mingus Ah Um and Mingus Dynasty and a cheap-budget release of Mingus At Antibes without couple of tracks. Neither case won't change order significantly, so hypothetical reordering is unnecessary.

I also had to disqualify some of the votes, because they were sent from the same host without email address within a short period of time and they all had votes for the same album. Come on, are you so desperate?-)

There was also one vote for New Tijuana Moods in the 1st category, so I changed the name to Tijuana Moods. There were also some votes for 'non'-Mingus albums, such as Epitaph which was performed and recorded ten years after Mingus's death and Joni Mitchell's Mingus.

Wuppertal 26 April 1964 is available on Mingus In Europe CDs released by Enja. I haven't seen/heard Stuttgart 28 April 1964, so I can't comment on that, but it's been released on two Unique Jazz LPs.

Earliest album voted was Mingus At The Bohemia (1955) and latest (if Mitchell and Epitaph aren't accepted) Cumbia & Jazz Fusion (1977). Most of the votes went to 1959/60 albums on CBS, Candid and Atlantic. Mingus's 1964 band with Coles, Dolphy, Jordan and Byard gathered also some votes.

What wasn't voted?

There are some great albums, that didn't have a single vote. Some of them are:

Jazz Portraits - Mingus In Wonderland (what's wrong with this?), Mingus Revisited (nobody likes Half-Mast Inhibition?), The Great Concert, Paris 1964 (not so great, after all?) etc.

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