0039. Charles Mingus – The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady [1963]


I don’t know all that much about Charles Mingus, but I’ve loved what I’ve heard thus far.  Pretty much the same deal for nearly every jazz artist I’ve come across.  I did buy a tribute album of sorts a while ago called Weird Reflections that was done for Charles Mingus.  Lots of awesomeness on that album.  I highly recommend it, and this album right here as well.

Wikipedia Says:

The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is a studio album by American jazz musician Charles Mingus, released on Impulse! Recordsin 1963. The album consists of a single continuous composition—partially written as a ballet—divided into four tracks and six movements.[1]

Album information

The album was recorded on January 20, 1963 by an eleven-piece band. Mingus has called the album’s orchestral style “ethnic folk-dance music”. Mingus’s perfectionism led to extensive use of studio overdubbing techniques. The album features liner notes written by Mingus and his then-psychotherapist, Dr. Edmund Pollock.[1] The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is often characterized by jazz and music critics as one of Mingus’s two major masterworks (the other being Mingus Ah Um) and has frequently ranked highly on lists of the best albums of all time.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
All About Jazz favorable[2]
Allmusic 5/5 stars[3]
Penguin Guide to Jazz 4/4 stars[4]
Q 4/5 stars[5]

The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is among the most acclaimed jazz records of the 20th century. Richard Cook and Brian Morton, writers of The Penguin Guide to Jazz, awarded the album a “Crown” token, the publication’s highest accolade, in addition to the highest four-star rating.[2]Steve Huey of Allmusic awards The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady five stars out of five and describes the album as “one of the greatest achievements in orchestration by any composer in jazz history.”[3] Q magazine describes the album as “a mixture of haunting bluesiness, dancing vivacity, and moments of Andalusian heat…” and awards it four of five stars.[5]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Charles Mingus. All songs have subtitles. The fourth track (side two on the original vinyl release) consists of three movements with individual titles and subtitles. The track lengths listed on the album sleeve are incorrect; the times listed below are the actual track lengths.

No. Title Subtitle Length
1. “Track A – Solo Dancer” “Stop! Look! And Listen, Sinner Jim Whitney!” 6:39
2. “Track B – Duet Solo Dancers” “Hearts’ Beat and Shades in Physical Embraces” 6:45
3. “Track C – Group Dancers” “(Soul Fusion) Freewoman and Oh, This Freedom’s Slave Cries” 7:22
4. “Mode D – Trio and Group Dancers”

“Mode E – Single Solos and Group Dance”

“Mode F – Group and Solo Dance”

“Stop! Look! And Sing Songs of Revolutions!”
“Saint and Sinner Join in Merriment on Battle Front”
“Of Love, Pain, and Passioned Revolt, then Farewell, My Beloved, ’til It’s Freedom Day”
Total length:



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