This off of the album that I accidentally bought in some strange CD format that nothing I owned could play. For whatever reason I have not replaced it, even though The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, which I acquired at the same time, is probably my favorite jazz album. You have re-inspired me to remedy this situation. - Lopkhan
Well I'm happy to have inspired somebody today...
Charles Mingus is a magnificent musical legacy. I remember sitting in on a class on Mingus at Mills College taught by the great Anthony Braxton. Braxton walked into class with literally a tower of lps and began putting them on and lecturing about how for Mingus political musics didn't just mean they had a political subject matter but that they needed to be written in a completely different way. braxton would play some of the bass parts on the piano so we could hear Mingus' genius more clearly. There is a documentary around somewhere of a furious Mingus trying to understand what culture, what United States is all about, as we watch him being evicted from his apartment. I highly recommend his autobiography Beneath the Underdog. Braxton, also a genius, but in an even more "out" way, was composing massive pieces for four orchestras and even operas, when no one what record label was going to go out on a limb and put out the next Anthony Braxton record. Maybe that obscure Italian label again? He began with the Creative Construction Company at the same time and in close friendship with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Also with him in CCC were Leroy Jenkins and I think Buell Neidlinger played with them then too. They would rent abandoned storefronts and play in the shopwindows for passersby. Jazz at it's best,is depth. When we are just coming into our own, we are all Platonists, we need those things of which we can say, I am not this perfect or this real, but I belong to this. Here is one of mine:http://youtu.be/8j_TDoOPnIAJohn Coltrane playing Alabama.
I believe the documentary you are referring to is called Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog. It is actually available for streaming on Netflix which is where I saw a couple of months ago. It is excellent. Not necessarily for the music (which is still great, don't get me wrong) but for the insight it gives into Mingus as a personality and an appreciation for his intensity. As for albums, Mingus' Ah Um is one of my favorite Jazz albums. Thanks for the excellent Coltrane link by the way. I agree with and really like your comment "Jazz at it's best, is depth." I think that really puts it nicely. It applies equally to Coltrane's Blue Train or Love Supreme, to Miles' Kind of Blue or MIlestones, Monk's Straight No Chaser or 'Round Midnight or Bill Evan's Sunday at the Village Vanguard. (If we want to stay with the "classics".) Now that I think about it, I guess it is the "depth" to those songs that I really appreciate.Cool that the blog has gotten around to a bit of a jazz discussion. I look forward to more.
George - thanks for the Alabama...Collin - putting this in my queue, and thanks to you.I would love to do more jazz on this blog, absolutely, but would need more education in that area. I may pick a few things that I love and get the out there just to get the process started and would love for you guys to keep adding on...Cheers, mm
'Boogie Stop Shuffle' always reminds me of the Batman theme song.If you like BSS, check out 'Hora Decubitus' on the MINGUS MINGUS MINGUS MINGUS MINGUS album on Impulse! Apart from 'Haitian Fight Song', it's probably my favorite Mingus piece. Except for maybe 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' (re-recorded as 'Theme For Lester Young' on MMMMM). Mingus did a lot of this re-recording under different titles for different record companies: II B.S. on MMMMM is 'Haitian Fight Song'.'Hora Decubitus' is a brief primer on the genius of Mingus - the bass virtuosity, the centrality of the blues that underwrote nearly everything he did, the mixture of 'outside' elements within a hard swinging band structure, focus coexisting with implicit chaos...Again, playing the desert island game, if I could have only one jazz artist, I'd take Mingus over Miles, Monk or Ellington without hesitation. Never been a fanatic Coltrane guy, but I chalk that up to my deficit of 'spirituality'. IOW, Giant Steps over A Love Supreme.Actually, I'd take Sonny Rollins' Saxophone Colossus over A Love Supreme too. A ghodless secular humanist, that's me alright...
Braxton teaching Mingus...the mind boggles.GA: Did he ever explain why his 'song' titles were pseudo-mathematical equations or astronomical notations or whatever they were? Or is that Cecil Taylor I'm thinking of?