Apr 22, 2022
What can we say here that hasn't already been said about Charles Mingus, not one of a handful of true geniuses of the jazz world, but one of the towering figures in 20th century music as a whole. Having learned music and composition from classical figures, his career began in the groups of Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory and Lionel Hampton in the 1940's. His work would covered jazz history for another three decades, playing bebop with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Money Jungle with Duke Ellington and Max Roach, and leading large and small groups through increasingly charged work. He was a pioneer off the bandstand as well, creating the Jazz Workshop as a means of allowing artists greater control over their work.
As a composer, his work reflected not just his voluminous experiences, but his sharp wit, political anger, and desire to open new and exciting ways to play music. That's the side of music we pay tribute to in Podcast 900, choosing some of my favorite Mingus tunes, performed by a wide variety of jazz musicians.
Musical selections include:
Dannie Richmond - "Fables of Faubus"
Aaron Seeber - "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love"
Pepper Adams - "Song with Orange"
Tierney Sutton - "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines"
Blue Moods - "Peggy's Blue Skylight"
Larry Coryell - "Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul"
John Hebert - "Remember Rockefeller at Attica"
Akua Dixon - "Haitian Fight Song"
Kevin Mahogany - "Mingus Medley (Boogie Stop Shuffle - Jelly Roll - Good-Bye Pork Pie Hat)"
Stanley Clarke - "Good-Bye Pork Pie Hat"