5E-505 Mingus
Mixed by Joni Mitchell, Henry Lewy and Steve Katz
Released on June 1979
Find it at GEMM
5E-505 cover
[high resolution scan]

T he ashes of Mingus belong to India, his last petals to a strawberry blonde from Canada. The didactic thing to do is to tell you how Mitchell and Mingus met, paint the picture of a little girl splashing in the shadow of a jazz giant, gush a querulous geyser and go home. Or quash a garrulous kaiser in the absence et cetera. All by way of saying that little girls with lovely pageboy bangs shouldn’t be howling at night with jazz eccentrics and coming home to quiet suburbia with mischievous black notes in their purse. But try telling Fate that you had to wash your hair instead. Mingus, bull elephant in declension, telepathed his epitaph to Muse, who curtsied, complied and conscripted the other lords of the jungle to lend a hand. At first, Muse illuminated the epitaph with the lords-who-must-be-leaving: John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke, Eddie Gomez, Tony Williams, mumbling. But in the moment of magnetic finality, the Muse was enveloped by heavy weather: Jaco, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, Don Alias, Emil Richards. Joni refers to the results as “audio paintings.” Everything since honestly Blue has been, but why contradict the lady? Here, Joni paints the dying Mingus dancing. She does it with a sense of humor. She does it with a sense of history. She does it with the same keen, bittersweet senses that brought her to this place, to share a final sunset with a gentle giant in the sacred selva of circumstance. God must be a boogie man indeed.


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (RAP)    0:57
  2. GOD MUST BE A BOOGIE MAN    (Joni Mitchell)    4:33
  3. FUNERAL (RAP)    1:07
  4. A CHAIR IN THE SKY    (Joni Mitchell/Charles Mingus)    6:40
  5. THE WOLF THAT LIVES IN LINDSEY    (Joni Mitchell)    6:33
  6. I'S A MUGGIN (RAP)    0:07
  7. SWEET SUCKER DANCE    (Joni Mitchell/Charles Mingus)    8:06
  8. COIN IN THE POCKET (RAP)    0:11
  9. THE DRY CLEANER FROM DES MOINES    (Joni Mitchell/Charles Mingus)    3:22
  10. LUCKY (RAP)    0:03
  11. GOODBYE PORK PIE HAT    (Joni Mitchell/Charles Mingus)    5:41


JONI MITCHELL -- guitars & vocals, paintings
DON ALIAS -- congas
HERBIE HANCOCK -- electric piano
JACO PASTORIUS -- bass, horn arrangement (9)
EMIL RICHARDS -- percussion
WAYNE SHORTER -- soprano sax
Wolves --
Steve Katz -- engineer
Henry Lewy -- engineer
Jerry Solomon -- additional engineering
Glen Christensen -- art direction

CAN 1979 Asylum LP X5E-505 split gatefold cover
US June 1979 Asylum LP/CS 5E/5CS-505 split gatefold cover
UK June 1979 Asylum LP K-53091 split gatefold cover
BRA 1979 WEA LP 52002  
GER 1979 Asylum LP/CS AS/4-53091 split gatefold cover
JPN 1979 Pioneer/Warner LP P-10626Y split gatefold cover
US   Elektra CD 505  
GER   Asylum CD 60557  
JPN 2006 Reprise CD WPCR-75236 digital remaster


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