Saturday, October 6, 2012

#77: Charles Mingus - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (1963)

We're gonna ditch the familiar review format once more. This album does many things right, for instance, it makes instruments sound like other things. The tuba on the first track makes an alarm type sound which really adds to the atmosphere of the piece. The band makes use of tempo changes and repetition to cause things to go out of control. It's a very dark and sinister album.

While the songs may transition out of their mischievous sounds on the first and second tracks, it becomes a lot brighter and a little more of a standard type feel. However, the harmonies and the horns sound dissonant. Therefore, while it's much brighter (compared to the rest of the track) there's still the feeling that not everything is quite alright.

'Mode D, E, F' is definitely my favorite. It starts out simple enough, yet a Spanish guitar comes in and there's a Mexican standoff in the middle of the track. The rest of the instruments don't work with the guitar, but it overwhelms it - forcing it's will on the direction of the music. Throughout this track we hear multiple different themes.

All in all, it's an interesting jazz record. I've never heard a album quite like this. They went all in on the darkness and the dissonance of their sound. There's no better way to put it: it's very sinister throughout. Then again, it seems as if Charles Mingus may have been a disturbed individual - then again the liner notes were written by his psychologist. The last track is all over the place, it captures your attention and keeps it locked up in a cage. The other tracks were good but failed to keep me engaged. If you're a jazz fan - you'll certainly enjoy this.

Tomorrow's album: Fall Out Boy's Infinity on High.

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