Mingus Ah Um
Released: Sep 1959
Mingus was signed to Columbia for a brief two-album stay in 1959 and he burst out of the gates with this magnum opus. Featuring a universally gifted band driven by Mingus' indefatigable energy on a set of wonderfully varied and sequenced material, this is rich blues music expressing the whole history of jazz up to the moment of its creation. These facts and Mingus' ever-shifting arrangements find his aspiration to Ellingtonian genius here firmly manifest. Kind of Blue is epochal, true, but Mingus Ah Um is another album that every fan of music should have in their collection.