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Charles Mingus

 


 
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BIG BAND SELECTIONS (with brief descriptions)

 

BEMOANABLE LADY

-Bright ballad, soprano sax solo

BETTER GET HIT IN YOUR SOUL

– Gospel 12/8 burner w/shouts & blues solos

BIRD CALLS

– Sax section feature, real uptempo

“It wasn’t supposed to sound like Charlie Parker. It was supposed to sound like birds– the first part.” – Mingus

BLUE CEE

– Medium tempo blues in C major

BOOGIE STOP SHUFFLE (Simply Mingus)

– Medium to uptempo classic, B flat blues

BOOGIE STOP SHUFFLE

– Medium to uptempo classic, B flat blues

CHAIR IN THE SKY

– Lyrics by Joni Mitchell

CHILDREN’S HOUR OF DREAM

– through-composed, medium tempo classical jewel from “Epitaph”

DIANE

– Medley of two ballads, one walking ballad, w/solos on both

DON’T LET IT HAPPEN HERE

– Spoken Word w/brass a capella  turning into uptempo E flat modal solos

DUKE ELLINGTON’S SOUND OF LOVE (Simply Mingus)

– classic walking ballad, one of the most advanced

DUKE ELLINGTON’S SOUND OF LOVE

– classic walking ballad, one of the most advanced

ECCLUSIASTICS 

– Bluesy multi-part, gospel-like, with a few tempo changes

EH’S FLAT AH’S FLAT TOO

– Uptempo E flat blues, brass intensive

FABLES OF FAUBUS (Simply Mingus)

– Classic, medium tempo with a lot of shifts & backgrounds

FABLES OF FAUBUS

– Classic, medium tempo with a lot of shifts & backgrounds

GG TRAIN

– Uptempo w/ ¼ time ballad, has built-in drum solo

GOODBYE PORKPIE HAT (Simply Mingus)

– Classic, tenor & bass feature, ballad

GOODBYE PORKPIE HAT

– Classic, tenor & bass feature, ballad

GUNSLINGING BIRD

– 6/8 burner w/drum solo at end

“The subtitle was “If Charlie Parker was a gunslinger, there’d be a whole lot of dead copycats.” I was just feeling crazy and thought that if Bird was a gunslinger instead of a musician in those early days, there’d have been a lot of guys getting killed.” – Mingus

HAITIAN FIGHT SONG (Simply Mingus)

– Classic, bass feature, medium-uptempo, G minor blues

HAITIAN FIGHT SONG

– Classic, bass feature, medium-uptempo, G minor blues

“I was always doing revolutionary things, things that would alert people like on the island of St. Maarten’s in the Caribbean, they need to be alerted. They’re so subservient. I think they dig being like they are because I saw a sign in Phillipsburg that said: “We want a ghost leading us.” In Chicago they used to call the white guys “ghosts” and the black guys “spooks.”” – Mingus

INVISIBLE LADY

– Ballad with lyrics

JELLY ROLL (Simply Mingus)

– Classic, 16 bar piece,  progressing through styles from Dixieland to Bebop

LOVE CHANT 

– Modern, medium-uptempo with two solo forms on 2 different set of changes.

“It was one of my first pedal point songs, or extended forms.” – Mingus

MEDITATIONS FOR MOSES

– Mingus Plays Piano

MEDITATION FOR MOSES

– Orchestra Version

MOANIN’ (Simply Mingus)

– Classic, bari feature with 64 bar form

MOANIN’

– Classic, bari feature with 64 bar form

NEW YORK SKETCHBOOK

NOONLIGHT

-Discovered in the Mingus archives by musicologist and historian Andrew Homzy.

NOSTALGIA IN TIME SQUARE (Simply Mingus)

– Medium tempo, modified blues in E flat

NOSTALGIA IN TIMES SQUARE

– Medium tempo, modified blues in E flat

O.P. FOR OSCAR PETTIFORD (Simply Mingus)

– Uptempo w/odd number of bars & beats

OH LORD DON’T LET THEM DROP THAT BOMB ON ME – (no score)

– Swinging 12-bar blues in C

OPEN LETTER TO DUKE

– Extended form featuring tenor uptempo & alto on a ballad

OPUS FOUR

– Large form, dialogue solos

PASSIONS OF A WOMAN LOVED

PEDAL POINT BLUES

– Shuffle, B-flat blues

PEGGY’S BLUE SKYLIGHT

– Classic, medium-uptempo, AAB form

PITHECANTHROPUS ERECTUS

– Classic, F minor, open vamps for solos

PORTRAIT

PROFILE OF JACKIE

– Lush ballad and swing, alto solo with saxophone section feature

SELF PORTRAIT IN THREE COLORS (Simply Mingus)

– Through-composed, polyphony

SLIPPERS (Simply Mingus)

– Uptempo,  drum feature

SONG WITH ORANGE

– Medium shuffle in E flat

SUE’S CHANGES

– Extended form, classical type piece

SWEET SUCKER DANCE

– Lyrics by Joni Mitchell

TENSIONS

– High energy uptempo, 16 bar blues form

“It’s a technically involved composition. I called it that because the guys were tense playing it.”” – Mingus

THIS SUBDUES MY PASSION – (no score)

– Ballad from Swing Era

TIJUANA GIFT SHOP

– Latin infused, medium-uptempo with 17 bar form

TONIGHT AT NOON

 

US IS TWO

– Medium-uptempo, long chorus piece in D flat

WEDNESDAY NIGHT PRAYER MEETING

– Gospel-like 6/8 uptempo with 12-bar blues form in F

WORK SONG

– Medium tempo, soulful swinger w/8 bar dialogue solos, in F minor

YSABEL’S TABLE DANCE

– Latin infused, medium-uptempo, long form w/many open vamps

“It was really conceived in Mexico in one of those night clubs where they have chicks that dance and take off their clothes. And the more you tip them, the more they take off. I was amazed. I also wrote my own version of “Flamingo” on the same trip. I wrote completely different changes in the key of E just to see what kind of guys would play it. But it’s completely different from what Duke did, other than the melody. “Los Mariachis” was another piece. They are the street musicians. They play completely different from the guys inside the clubs. More natural. They’re not affected. I don’t know if they make as much money. There’s seven or eight guys walking around, playing tunes in the street for people. I’ve always liked Mexican music and Spanish music because that’s jazz in a way– people’s music.” – Mingus

 

 

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