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Charles Mingus “Oh Yeah” (1962)

That Mingus had in mind to do something different on this record can be divined by the fact that he plays piano instead of bass here. And he sings … badly. Plus he hires both Roland Kirk and Booker Ervin to play sax — and if you can think of two more disparate players, send your answers on a postcard to me. The end result is one of Mingus’ earthiest, bluesiest, craziest and, well, most unhinged albums; if the songwriting isn’t up to, say, Ah Um, it makes up for it in sheer loopiness. “Passions of a Man” is the most avant-garde and complicated track here, perfectly balanced by the sleazy R&B of “Eat That Chicken”. And who can disagree with the sentiments of “Oh Lord Don’t Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me”? Unsung hero: Dannie Richmond. Again. –Neal

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