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Superior Viaduct's second Mingus reissue shows a more introspective side of the composer with Mingus Plays Piano. One of his most straightforwardly beautiful recordings, there is a meditative calm found in Mingus' piano work, touching on shades of Debussy, Satie, Bill Evans, and Duke Ellington. There's no showboating, and not an ounce of amateurism considering Mingus was primarily known as a bassist. Making its way through standards, original compositions, and the blues, Mingus Plays Piano is a true document of the man's inherent musical genius, and a crucial LP for anyone wishing to dig a little deeper into his discography.
"Mingus Plays Piano, released just a few months after his masterpiece The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady, is the only record to feature Mingus performing on his instrument of choice for composing. From the opening track, appropriately titled "Myself When I Am Real," MIingus shrugs off any virtuosic pretensions of solo albums and stakes out more introspective territory. These trance-like, poetic musings reveal a tenderness rarely associated with MIingus, reminiscent of Erik Satie's piano works and Art Tatum's free rhythmic style. This long out-of-print vinyl release has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes." (label info)