Money Jungle

Money Jungle by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach.

Recorded in 1962, Duke Ellington was 62 years old; Charles Mingus, 40; and Max Roach, 37. Swing was barely a memory, Bebop fading, and Rock & Roll on the rise.

Three titans of their own musics get together and attempt to reach some sort of consensus.

Ellington, the polite pugilist, dominates the sessions, both in terms of the number of compositions on the album, and dictates most of the idioms and rhythms at play.

Mingus and Roach try to stretch the forms and idioms, but usually end up coming back to the Duke’s terms in the end.

I don’t know if it is a great album, the three never quite gel, but it is fascinating to listen to them try. And also great to hear them play these compositions in such an unadorned setting, without a larger band expanding the ideas.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #DukeEllington #CharlesMingus #MaxRoach #MoneyJungle