Charles Mingus

Tijuana Moods

Every hardcore jazz fan will tell you there are certain career-defining albums you must have in your collection. But when the artist himself says, “This is the best record I ever made,” it’s definitely time to listen. Bassist Charles Mingus was a giant in the genre, as a composer and instrumentalist. Tijuana Moods is his opus, an aural melting pot of notes, riffs and sounds that combine in a unique manner to create a panorama of North American music, filtered through the charms of old Mexico.

Inspired by a short getaway to the Mexican tourist village in 1957, Tijuana Moods captures the quaintness of roaming mariachis, the sensuousness of exotic dancers, and the hustle-bustle of the busy marketplace. After multiple reissues, it is restored to its original form with one extra track, proving Mingus right. It’s the best album he ever made. 5 stars