Charles Mingus – Myself When I Am Real (1963)

Myself when I’m real is the opening track on the album Mingus Plays Piano by Charles Mingus, recorded and released in 1963.

Mingus Plays Piano is a 1963 solo jazz album by Charles Mingus. The album is notable for Mingus’ departure from his usual role as composer and double-bassist in ensemble recordings, instead playing piano without any additional musicians. [source]

This is not a performing seal act. This isn’t even Ornette on violin. Mingus Plays Piano is no gimmick or avant-garde foolery, because Mingus can really play piano.

Really play piano. On the Atlantic album Oh Yeah his piano fronts a band including Rahsaan Roland Kirk in a rollicking set; his comping there is competent but undistinguished. Nothing prepared the world for Mingus Plays Piano, except, perhaps, the unpredictable genius of Mr. Mingus himself.

If this was even just a seven-and-a-half minute album, it would be worth the price for the opening cut, “Myself When I Am Real.” To what can Mingus’ piano playing be compared? “Myself When I Am Real” sounds like Debussy plays Bill Evans, or maybe it’s the other way around. The piece is tender and emotional, as strong in its own way as The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady but a good bit more introverted. [source]

Charles Mingus – Piano

 

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