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  The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady  
  by Dustin Garlitz  
     
 

       February 2005:

      The cover of this 1963 Charles Mingus Impulse! Records album features the quote, “Touch my beloved’s thought while her world’s affluence crumbles at my feet”.  The concept of the Impulse! album is quite interesting…a classic Ellingtonian big band and its sophisticated arrangements meets the avant-garde jazz of 1960s.  Charlie Mariano is the star of this album -- his tone on alto saxophone reminds one of Johnny Hodges yet it is modern enough to fit into a 1970s Martin Scorsese motion-picture score (like the musical theme from Taxi Driver in 1976).  The album is comprised of four tracks which feature the inventive fashion Charles Mingus arranges his compositions for reeds.  The haunting sound is kind of reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Shining.  The music is so dark that Mingus has to turn to a clinical psychologist to interpret it in the album's liner notes.  This is not an album to be missed.  It has inspired everyone from Ravi Coltrane to Carlos Santana!