The jazz musician Charles Mingus was a celebrated band leader and one of the most important composers of his generation. But at the same time he was recording The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, he was working on another masterpiece of sorts. He figured out how to get his cat, Nightlife, to poop in a toilet — and he decided he’d share his method with the world. …
From Lagniappe Weekly: November’s MOJO Showcase – Spirit of 1959
Time may pass smoothly but that’s not the case for history. It jolts along in lurches and pauses, summoned and stalled by the forces surrounding it.
Art forms are the same way in development. Centuries might pass with little change before a revolution like the Renaissance shakes up the previous order and gives all a different lens through which to view our reality.
The Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed (MOJO) nods in appreciation to one of those lenses Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m., when they look back to the year 1959 and its watershed releases. It’s the latest in MOJO’s acclaimed monthly Jazz Jambalaya series.
The five albums in focus – from Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis and John Coltrane – run a wide gamut and represent a high water mark in terms of commercial appeal, artistic influence and cultural impact. …
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In San Diego, California, Robin Adler and Mutts of the Planet celebrate Mingus’s collaboration with Joni Mitchell. Click here to read the full article.
Tune in tomorrow evening to the USA Network! On November 13th, 2014, the television spy drama Covert Affairs will feature the Mingus composition “Ecclusiastics” during a fight scene with character Auggie Anderson. Auggie is an employee of the CIA’s Domestic Protection Division and when on mission uses the codename “Mingus.”
New York–based drummer Devin Gray says that a large-ensemble job he picked up over the summer was like many paying gigs: Show up and then find out who you’re playing with and what you’re playing. Some of the music was that of Charles Mingus, which Gray knew from his undergraduate days playing in a large ensemble that at the time was called the Peabody Big Band. “So I show up 5 minutes before the show, set up, and the leader’s just handing out tunes” on sheet music, says Gray, who graduated from the Peabody Institute’s Jazz Studies Department in 2006. “Three of them were Mingus tunes—and two of them, I remembered the whole arrangement. And when I was playing those tunes I could remember playing in the [Peabody] big band. And I was like, Whoa—I know this music.” …
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