Good morning and happy monday, everyone.
As you may have noticed lately, I have typically included a Charles Mingus track for Fitzie’s Track of the Day on Mondays. So, I’d like to introduce you to Mingus Mondays:
I didn’t discover Charles Mingus until a couple of years ago. The first jazz record I bought was a picture disc of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. I was a little intimidated whenever I would pore through the jazz section at the record stores. Who was good? Who wasn’t? I didn’t have much to go by.
Thelonious Monk was the first jazz musician that I first took a liking to. Thelonious Himself was the first Monk record I owned. It was an easy, non-threatening way to immerse myself into the jazzverse and have some sort of understanding for how it works. It was also great music.
I then sought to expand my record collection (which was Classic Rock, Classic Rock, Classic Rock). The easiest way for me to find a great jazz record was searching for jazz artists who played my favourite instrument: the bass.
Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads and John Deacon of Queen weren’t only my gateway into the bass, but into appreciating music. So, having gone that route before, I eventually zeroed-in on Charles Mingus.
This guy is ranked the second-best or best bassist in history in multiple rankers. He must be pretty good, I thought to myself.
And with knowing very little of his discography, I picked up a live album: At the Bohemia. Little did I know how much of a cornerstone this was for Mingus’ career.
This live performance at Cafe Bohemia in New York City in 1955 was perhaps the time where Charles Mingus established his musical identity, and where he performed most of his own compositions. It also features special guest Max Roach, drummer, on one of the tracks.
Today’s track features a tribute to Thelonious Monk, composed by Mingus and performed at the Bohemia.
The improvisational nature of this track really is definitive Charles Mingus, a masterful improviser who would incorporate that into much of his music.
There’s still so much to learn and to say about Mingus, a temperamental man and perfectionist. But for now, let’s enjoy a track that lured me into his genius.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Jump Monk, by Charles Mingus
And now for your links:
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