Charles Mingus - Tijuana Moods (LP - 180 Gram Vinyl)
When this LP was released in 1962, it was honored with the maximum number of stars that Downbeat, the most famous of all jazz magazines, could award. And nota bene the recordings were already five years old! Is there any better proof that the composer and arranger Charlie Mingus was ahead of his time? These five numbers certainly earned every single star of the five they were awarded.
They illustrate Mingus' mastering of Mexican folk music and his skill in integrating it into jazz. The small ensemble of Clarence Shaw, whom Mingus described as a super-improviser on the trumpet, Jimmy Knepper, a technical ace on the trombone, the legendary tenor saxophone player Shafi Hadi, and his longstanding friend Dannie Richmond on the drums all earn the very highest recognition as well.
The album's subheading reads: The album Charlie Mingus feels is his best work, in which he and his men re-create an exciting stay in Mexico's wild and controversial border town. No record collection is complete without the present highlight.