On January 20, 1963, bassist and composer Charles Mingus recorded in just one session — astonishingly — a very personal and socially conscious work he titled The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady. With liner notes written by Mingus's psychotherapist, the album uses ornate ensemble orchestration to produce a sound somewhere between jazz and folk.
Released on Impulse! Records in 1963, the album consists of a single continuous composition — partially written as a ballet — divided into four tracks and six movements. Of his adventurous and hauntingly eloquent work, among his other creations, Mingus said: "My music is evidence of my soul's will to live." The evidence of that life-force amounts to some of the most dramatic and powerful jazz composed in the 20th century.