music clip of the day


Tag: Charles Mingus

Thursday, October 29th


Charles Mingus Sextet (CM, 1922-1979, bass; Eric Dolphy, 1928-1964, alto saxophone; Clifford Jordan, 1931-1993, tenor saxophone; Johnny Coles, 1925-1987, trumpet; Jaki Byard, 1922-1999, piano; Dannie Richmond, 1931-1988, drums), “So Long Eric” (C. Mingus), live, Norway (Oslo), 1964




random sights

yesterday, Chicago

Thursday, April 23rd

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Mingus!

Charles Mingus, composer, bandleader, bassist
April 22, 1922-January 5, 1979

Better late than never for someone who, like Miles and Monk, Bach and Beethoven, I couldn’t live without.

Charles Mingus (bass) with Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute), Clifford Jordan (tenor saxophone), Johnny Coles (trumpet), Jaki Byard (piano), Dannie Richmond (drums), live, Belgium, Norway, and Sweden, 1964*



musical thoughts

There’s something about listening to Eric Dolphy that makes you feel glad to be alive.

—Cliff Preiss, DJ, WKCR (Columbia University), yesterday (Mingus birthday broadcast)


*Set lists (courtesy of YouTube):

00:00-00:45 Intro
00:46-05:33 So Long Eric
05:35-11:20 Peggy’s Blue Skylight
11:23-32:03 Meditations On Integration

32:30-54:46 So Long Eric
56:30-1:11:40 Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk
1:13:53-1:16:20 Parkeriana
1:16:22-1:29:05 Take The “A” Train

1:30:05-1:33:55 So Long Eric
1:34:02-1:52:35 Meditations On Integration
1:52:40- 1:59:50 So Long Eric

Tuesday, April 22nd

Happy (92nd) Birthday, Mingus!

Charles Mingus, bassist, composer, bandleader
April 22, 1922-January 5, 1979

Charles Mingus Quintet (CM, bass; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Booker Ervin, tenor saxophone; Ted Curson, trumpet; Dannie Richmond, drums) with guest Bud Powell (piano), “I’ll Remember April” (G. de Paul, P. Johnston, D. Raye), live, France (Antibes Jazz Festival), 1960




WKCR (Columbia University): all Mingus, all day.

Tuesday, 11/13/12


Ted Curson, trumpeter, composer, June 3, 1935-November 4, 2012

“L.S.D. Takes a Holiday” (T. Curson), live, Paris, 1973


With Charles Mingus, “Better Git Hit In Your Soul,” Mingus at Antibes (recorded live 1960)*


“Tears for Dolphy” (T. Curson), 1964


*CM (bass, piano), Ted Curson (trumpet), Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone), Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone), Dannie Richmond (drums).

Monday, 4/23/12

Charles Mingus Quintet,* “So Long Eric,” “Peggy’s Blue Skylight,” “Meditations On Integration” (all by Mingus), live (TV show), Belgium, 1964

Mingus’s music, it seems, has everything. Call it “simple” or “complex” and you’d be both right and wrong—it’s both. Compositional elegance is balanced, exquisitely, with improvisational unruliness. Rhythmic momentum is no less—and no more—important than melodic invention. Like Ellington and Monk, he will, I’m confident, still be listened to a hundred years from now.

(Excerpts from this program have been posted previously.)



art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago

Ludovico Carracci, The Vision of Saint Francis, c. 1602

Going to the Art Institute again, after being away for a while, I felt a bit like someone who doesn’t realize he’s starving until he finds himself at a feast.


*CM, bass; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums.

Sunday, 4/22/12

two takes

“Feel Like Going Home” (C. Rich)

Charlie Rich (vocals & piano), demo, 1973


Tom Jones with Mark Knopfler (guitar), TV performance, 1996



musical thoughts

I don’t think I ever recorded anyone who was better as a singer, writer, and player than Charlie Rich. It is all so effortless, the way he moves from rock to country to blues to jazz.

Sam Phillips (Sun Records)



Happy Birthday, Charles!

All Mingus, all day: WKCR-FM.


reading table

I thought that you were an anchor in the drift of the world;
but no: there isn’t an anchor anywhere.
There isn’t an anchor in the drift of the world. Oh no.
I thought you were. Oh no. The drift of the world.

—William Bronk,* “The World” (mp3 [Hudson Falls, NY, 1978], Selected Poems [1995])


*Bronk, who died in 1999, was recently inducted, posthumously, into the ultra-exclusive MCOTD Hall of Fame, joining tenor saxophonist Von Freeman and poet Wislawa Szymborska.

Sunday, 10/2/11

Here, at Luther Vandross’s funeral, Stevie testifies.

Stevie Wonder, “I Won’t Complain”
Live, New York (The Riverside Church), 2005



For as long as you’ve got a harp in your heart, God’s got a hymn for your hurt. And as long as you’ve got a hymn, then you’ve got hope.

—Maurice O. Wallace (funeral sermon, quoted in Karla FC Holloway, Passed On: African American Mourning Stories [2002])

(Originally posted 10/11/09.)


listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• Coldcut, 70 Minutes of Madness (Journeys by DJ)

• Mahmoud Ahmed, Ethiopiques, Vol. 6: Almaz (Buda Musique [import])

• Staff Benda Bilili, Tres Tres Fort (Crammed Discs)

• Louis Armstrong, Hot Fives & Sevens (JSP [import])

• Jaki Byard, Solo/Strings (Prestige)

• John Carter & Bobby Bradford’s New Art Jazz Ensemble, Seeking (hat Art)

• Eric Dolphy, Out to Lunch (Blue Note)

• Bill Evans Trio, Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside)

• The Great Concert of Charles Mingus (Verve)

• The Complete Dean Benedetti Recordings Of Charlie Parker (Mosaic)

• Sun Ra, Sleeping Beauty (Phantom Sound & Vision [import])

• The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air (Mosaic)

• Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet (Tzadik)

• Bela Bartok, String Quartets Nos. 5 & 6, Takacs Quartet (Hungaroton [import])

• David Behrman, On the Other Ocean (Lovely Music)

• Morton Feldman, Crippled Symmetry, Eberhard Blum, flute; Nils Vigland, piano, celesta; Jan Williams, glockenspiel, vibraphone (hat Art)

Morton Feldman, For Christian Wolff, Eberhard Blum, flute; Nils Vigland, piano, celesta (hat Art)

• Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, Stephane Ginsburgh, piano (Sub Rosa) (available as a download from Amazon for 89¢)

• Morton Feldman, For Samuel Beckett, San Francisco Contemporary Players (Newport Classic)

• Morton Feldman, Triadic Memories, Markus Hinterhauser, piano (Col Legno [import])

• Morton Feldman,  Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Members of the Ives Ensemble (hat Art)

• Ingram Marshall, Kingdom Come (Nonesuch)

• Maurizio Pollini, piano, Arnold Schoenberg (The Solo Piano MusicPiano Concerto), Anton Webern (Variations, op. 27) (Deutsche Grammaphon)

• Dimitri Shostakovich, String Quartets Nos. 5, 6, & 7, Borodin Quartet (Melodiya)

• WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
—Lester Young/Charlie Parker birthday marathon
—John Coltrane birthday broadcast
Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Traditions in Swing (Phil Schaap, jazz)
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)

Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture“new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads 
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
—Airborne Event (Dan Bodah, “electronic noise to free jazz, drone rock to a capella African song”)
Give the Drummer Some (Doug Schulkind, sui generis, web only)
Transpacific Sound Paradise (Rob Weisberg, “popular and unpopular music from around the world”)

WHPK-FM (broadcasting from University of Chicago)
The Blues Excursion (Arkansas Red)

Sunday, 7/3/11

This guy I can’t get enough of.

Vernard Johnson, “Don’t Wait ’Til The Battle Is Over, Shout Now!”; live, TV broadcast (Bobby Jones Gospel)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Time for just one note? 6:23.

More? Here. And here.



art beat

Lee Friedlander, Cherry Blossom Time in Japan (2006)


reading table

Yesterday, opening my Emily Dickinson collection (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by R. W. Franklin) at random, I came upon this.

We do not play on Graves —
Because there isn’t Room —
Besides — it isn’t even — it slants
And People come —

And put a Flower on it —
And hang their faces so —
We’re fearing that their Hearts will drop —
And crush our pretty play —

And so we move as far
As Enemies — away —
Just looking round to see how far
It is — Occasionally —

—Emily Dickinson (#599)



listening room: what’s playing

Echocord Jubilee Comp. (Echocord)

Art Ensemble of Chicago, Full Force (ECM)

Art Ensemble of Chicago, Urban Bushmen (ECM)

Paul Motian (with Lee Konitz, soprano & alto saxophones; Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone; Bill Frisell, guitar; Charlie Haden, bass), On Broadway Vol. 3 (Winter & Winter)

Rebirth Brass Band, Feel Like Funkin’ It Up (Rounder)

Marc Ribot, Silent Movies (Pi Recordings)

• Wadada Leo Smith, Kabell Years: 1971-1979 (Tzadik)

Charles “Baron” Mingus, West Coast, 1945-49 (Uptown Jazz)

• John Alexander’s Sterling Jubilee Singers, Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb (New World Records)

Rev. Johnny L. Jones, The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta (Dust-to-Digital)

Elliott Carter, composer; Ursula Oppens, piano; Oppens Plays Carter (Cedille)

Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, composers; Maurizio Pollini, piano, piano works (Schoenberg), Variations Op. 27 (Webern) (Deutsche Grammophon)

Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, Stephane Ginsburgh, piano (Sub Rosa)

WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Traditions in Swing (Phil Schaap, jazz)
—Daybreak Express
(Various, jazz)
Out to Lunch (Various, jazz)
Jazz Profiles (Various, jazz)
Jazz Alternatives (Various, jazz)
Morning Classical (Various, classical)
Afternoon New Music (Various, classical and hard-to-peg)
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)

Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
—Give The Drummer Some
(Doug Schulkind, sui generis)
Downtown Soulville with Mr. Fine Wine (soul)

Saturday, 6/25/11

nadir, n. the lowest point.

On July 29, 1946, Charlie Parker was arrested in Los Angeles, after starting a fire in his hotel room. Earlier that day, unable to score heroin, scratchy, drunk on whiskey, he recorded this track, which, depending on your point of view, is either one of the worst records he ever made (Parker’s view) or, despite (because of?) its raggedyness, among the greatest (Charles Mingus’s opinion). After his arrest he was confined, for six months, at Camarillo State Mental Hospital.

Charlie Parker, “Lover Man” (CP, alto saxophone; Howard McGhee, trumpet; Jimmy Bunn, piano; Bob Kesterson, bass; Roy Porter, drums), rec. 7/29/46

More? Here.



rewarding the deserving

So often, it seems, when arts awards are announced, my initial reaction is: “Huh?” Not this time. The National Endowment of the Arts just announced their 2012 Jazz Masters Awards, which recognize, with Lifetime Honors, “living musicians for career-long achievement.” And the winners are Jack DeJohnette, Jimmy Owens, Charlie Haden, Sheila Jordan, and Von Freeman.


reading table

The cafeteria in the hospital’s basement was the saddest place in the world, with its grim neon lights and gray tabletops and the diffuse forboding of those who had stepped away from suffering children to have a grilled cheese sandwich.


The next day, I set up an iPod dock and played music, not only in the willfully delusional belief that music would be good for a painful, recovering brain but also to counter the soul-crushing hospital noise: the beeping of monitors, the wheezing of respirators, the indifferent chatter of nurses in the hallway, the alarm that went off whenever a patient’s condition abruptly worsened.


One early morning, driving to the hospital, I saw a number of able-bodied, energetic runners progressing along Fullerton Avenue toward the sunny lakefront, and I had a strong physical sensation of being in an aquarium: I could see out, the people outside could see me (if they chose to pay attention), but we were living and breathing in entirely different environments.

—Aleksandar Hemon, “The Aquarium: A Child’s Isolating Illness” (behind a paywall), New Yorker, 6/13 & 20/2011

Sunday, 4/24/11

Take me to the water . . .

Take Me To The Water:
Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography
(Dust-to-Digital 2009)

Vodpod videos no longer available.



reading table

Three Lilies

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in
the morning.” Psalm 30

Before dawn, under a thin moon disappearing
east, the planet Mercury, the messenger
and healer, came up vanishingly
into the blue beyond the garden where
three lilies at the bottom of the yard
arrayed white trumpets on iron stalks
under a slow, slow lightning from the sun.
I stood on a rotten step myself,
and smelled them from a hundred feet away.

—Brooks Haxton (Uproar: Antiphonies to Psalms)


listening room: what’s playing

Billy Bang Quintet, Above and Beyond (Justin Time)

• The Complete Atlantic Recordings of Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz & Warne Marsh (Mosaic)

Bunky Green, The Salzau Quartet Live at Jazz Baltica (Traumton)

Bombino, Agadez (Cumbancha)

Friedrich Gulda, The Complete Gulda Mozart Tapes (Deutsche Grammaphon)

Maryanne Amacher, Sound Characters (Tzadik)

The Original Gospel Harmonettes (featuring Dorothy Love Coates), Love Lifted Me (Charly)

Rev. Johnny L. Jones, The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta (Dust-to-Digital)

Sinner’s Crossroads, Kevin Nutt, WFMU-FM (Thursday, 8-9 p.m. [EST])

Gospel Memories, Bob Marovich, WLUW-FM (Saturday 10-11 a.m. [CST])

Bird Flight, Phil Schaap, WKCR-FM (M-F, 8:20-9:30 a.m. [EST])

Charles Mingus Birthday Broadcast, WKCR-FM, 4/22/11

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