Charles Mingus – The Clown (Mono)



Analogue Productions (Atlantic 75 Series)

Catalog number

AAPA 060-45




45 RPM Vinyl Record

No. of Discs


Us Streetdate

Coming June 07, 2024

I am aware and agree, that the Record will be put out of the original shrink wrap (this will be included to the delivery).

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  • Analogue Productions (Atlantic 75 Series)
  • Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Atlantic Records!
  • An absolute must-have for every jazz collector!
  • 180-gram mono 45 RPM double LP
  • Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
  • Gatefold old-style "tip-on" jacket by Stoughton Printing
  • Musicians: Charles Mingus, bass Shafi Hadi, alto and tenor saxophone Jimmy Knepper, trombone Wade Legge, piano Dannie Richmond, drums Jean Shepherd, narration (Track 4)

The Clown was Charles Mingus’ second masterpiece in a row, featuring Jean Shepard (yes, that Jean Shepard from the holiday movie A Christmas Story) on the title tune narrating a story about a clown attempting to please the world with his performances. The Clown also introduced two of Mingus’ finest compositions in the driving, determined “Haitian Fight Song” and the ’40s-flavored “Reincarnation of a Lovebird,” a peaceful but melancholy tribute to Charlie Parker; Mingus would return to both throughout his career.

With Pithecanthropus, Mingus displayed a gift for airtight, focused arrangements that nonetheless allowed his players great freedom to add to the established mood of each piece. The Clown refines and heightens that gift; instead of just writing heads that provide launch points for solos, Mingus tries to evoke something specific with every piece, and even his most impressionistic forays have a strong storytelling quality.

The Clown tells the story of a clown “who tried to please people like most jazz musicians do, but whom nobody liked until he was dead,” Mingus said, in an interview. “My version of the story ended with his blowing his brains out with the people laughing and finally being pleased because they thought it was part of the act. I liked the way Jean changed the ending; leaves it more up to the listener.”

The title track is even more interesting for the free improvisations led by trombonist Jimmy Knepper, as the group responds to Shepherd’s story and paints an aural backdrop. It’s evidence that Mingus’ compositional palette was growing more determinedly modern, much like his increasing use of dissonance, sudden tempo changes, and multiple sections.

Side 1
  • Haitian Fight Song

Side 2

  • Blue Cee

Side 3

  • Reincarnation Of A Lovebird

Side 4

  • The Clown
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