Nat Hentoff, distinguished jazz critic, author, and educator, died at the age of 91 on Saturday January 7th, 2017. He was one of the few critics Charles trusted immediately. Their friendship lasted a lifetime.
Below are liner notes that Nat wrote for Charles Mingus’s album The Clown in 1957.
“Some weeks ago, for no reason at all but curiosity and pleasure, I listened for several days to nothing but Charles Mingus recordings from the 1950’s, What particularly struck me was how fresh the music continues to be. Since Mingus was never modish and therefore never fell into idioms that were “hip” at the moment, his musical voice was and still is entirely, compellingly his. But also, as I listened through the hours, I heard more true originality, more boldness of lines and colors and rhythms, and more depth of all kinds of emotions than I hear in much of what is regarded as “advanced” jazz…”
Some notable Mingus albums for which Nat wrote liner notes include: Blues and Roots, Pithecanthropus Erectus, The Clown, Jazz Workshop 1957-1958, Three or Four Shades of Blues, Cumbia and Jazz Fusion, Me Myself an Eye, Something Like a Bird, The Essential Mingus Big Band, Passions of a Man: The Complete Atlantic Recordings 1956-1961, Chair in the Sky, Changes One, Changes Two, Mingus Moves, My Favorite Quintet, Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus, Mingus Plays Piano, Oh Yeah, Tijuana Moods, Reincarnation of a Lovebird, Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus, Mingus!, Mysterious Blues, Jazz Portraits: Mingus in Wonderland, A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry, East Coasting, Mingus Three, Charles Mingus and the Newport Jazz Rebels, The Complete 1960 Nat Hentoff Sessions…