Each month Peter Batten recommends a recording that jazz fans may wish to add to their personal library.
Charles Mingus began the 1950s as a very gifted bass player, part of a successful trio led by Red Norvo, on vibes, with Tal Farlow on Guitar. Eventually he left because promoters and club owners objected to a mixed-race group. By the end of the 1950s he was being recognised as one of the most important contributors to the development of jazz – and American Music in general. This album, from October 1957, did not get the recognition it deserved at the time, although, as a trumpet player I remember being very impressed by the contribution of Clarence Shaw, one of several gifted musicians discovered by Mingus. Another discovery, Shafi Hadi, is on saxophones and the great trombonist Jimmy Knepper completes the front line. The Pianist is the wonderful Bill Evans. With Mingus on bass and the eccentric but very imaginative Danny Richmond on drums, the whole session swings beautifully. It marks a year when Mingus’s great talent began to emerge and be recognised.
[ East Coasting was re-issued in 1993 and is now available as part of a bargain package on Real Gone Jazz, “Charles Mingus: Eight Classic Albums.” ]