The Official Site
Charles Mingus

 


 
Twitter
 
 
CONTACT| JOIN MAILING LIST | STORE
Mingus Jazz Education Photos News The Mingus Bands BOOKING Sue Mingus Music in Film

 

Mingus Music in “The Notorious Bettie Page”

Mary Harron’s new film (released April 2006) about the life of risque pinup model Bettie Page (starring Gretchen Mol) is packed with musical gems – including Charles Mingus’s “Love Chant.” The tune was originally released on 1956′s Atlantic recording Pithecanterous Erectus, and is now included on the CD soundtrack, along with tracks by Julie London, Patsy Cline, Jeri Southern, Esquival, Artie Shaw, Art Pepper and Hank Ballard.

Mingus Music in Film and on Campus

Mingus Music in Film and on Campus
Mon, Feb. 13 2006
Two documentary filmmakers have relied heavily on the music of Charles Mingus’s 1959
Blues and Roots recording to augment their films. One, entitled “Venice West and the LA
Scene” by director Mary Kerr, will screen at the Centre Pompidou in Paris from March 7
– July 17, 2006 to coincide with the museum’s major exhibit of California artists.
The film gives a many-sided history of this particular scene of artists and poets that
emerged in the early 1960s. Another film, entitled “East of Paradise” by director Lech
Kowalski, can currently be seen on French-German channel Arte. The film is in two parts;
the first is about the filmmaker’s mother as a prisoner in a Russian Gulag; the second
part is about the director’s experiences living in New York’s Lower East Side in the
1970s and 80s. The director is known for earlier films about the Sex Pistols and Johnny
Thunders.On TV, the popular show Cold Case used a version of “Haitian Fight Song” to accompany a
scene in episode #51 entitled “Committed.” The episode first aired in October 2005, and
is in reruns this spring. The same episode also used songs by Thelonious Monk and Julie
London.A musicologist and doctoral candidate at the Graduate Center of the City University of
New York, Jennifer Griffith, has presented a dissertation on the music of Mingus as it
relates to New Orleans jazz and to Jelly Roll Morton. Griffith makes the case that
Mingus’s work represents innovations within the tradition that provide a link between
early practices of collective improvisation in New Orleans and the avant-garde players
of the 1960s. Griffith traces the legacy of Morton and how his music served Mingus in
“making meaning of his own experience as a musician, and a black American, as well as
making his mark in the history of jazz.”Also fresh off the academic press is David Yaffe’s Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz In
American Writing, just published by Princeton University Press. Yaffe, an English prof
at Syracuse and pop culture critic, was spotted grooving to the Big Band at Iridium
during IAJE week. And we didn’t count, but there were quite a few references to Mingus
in the index of Fascinating Rhythm.