An amazing double-header – two classic Charles Mingus albums back to back! Black Saint & The Sinner Lady is one of Mingus' greatest albums ever, ranks right up with The Clown and Pithecantropus Erectus for sheer raw power and emotion – and Mingus' writing is incredibly tight, giving soloists like Charlie Mariano, Jaki Byard
, Richard Williams, and Jerome Richardson a real workout. The set's an extended suite of tracks with sort of a semi-ballet form. Don't let this fool you into thinking that the work's some sort of semi-classical snoozer, though – as Mingus uses the structure to hit some brilliant raw emotion, and the "dance" part of the piece gives the work a tight rhythmic form, pushing the soloists into raw urgent grooves, of a nature that never show up on Mingus' other work from the time. Titles include "Trio & Group Dancers", "Solo Dancer", "Group & Solo Dance", and "Duet Solo Dancers". The second album has the artist's last name listed five times – Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus – the title's exploding with Mingus, and the album is too – a completely classic effort for Impulse Records that's easily one of Charles' best of the 60s! Things are reigned in somewhat from the Mingus years at Atlantic or Candid, but the sound is still great – almost more focused than before – with a sense of all the best qualities that Charles was finding in his music, laid out back to back in near-perfect formation! The group's full of great players – with reeds from Eric Dollphy, Booker Ervin, and Jerome Richardson – all of whom really contribute some deep tones to the album – and Jaki Byard
's on piano, making one of his key Mingus appearances of the 60s. Titles include the massive "Better Get Hit In Yo' Soul" (the virtual Mingus "trademark" tune), plus the tracks "Celia", "Hora Decubitus", and "II B.S.".