Saturday, April 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mingus!

MingusMingusMingusMingusMingusYah, sure, 4/20, whatever. Hold out a couple more days for a more worthy celebration on 4/22, the birthday of bassist and general bad-ass, Charles Mingus. There are few others in the realm of world-domination-via-music who had or have his passion, virtuosity, attitude, earthy funk, innovation, and nose for social commentary. Firmly rooted in the tradition, but always facing forward. It mystifies me to this day how I "got it" even in 8th grade (whatever that means), from the primal shout of "Moanin'" to the frighteningly honest "Myself When I Am Real" to the scathing "Fables of Faubus" or the "Who said momma's lil' baby loves short'nin' bread!?" rap amidst the epic "Cumbia and Jazz Fusion." And it's only grown richer with age.

Thanks to Chris for reminding me about the WKCR all-day birthday marathon. For those of you who are, like me, homebound due to shitty weather, you can still tune in at 89.9 FM in the New York area, or online.

In addition to all of Mingus's countless musical offerings, we should not forget his contribution to the world of pet ownership. Many a litter box has been cast aside thanks to the wisdom of this man.


Blogger chris g said...

Great photo, Dave.

You know how every year at the Oscars Jack Nicholson gets to sit in the middle of the front row, and no matter who else is at the party he's the biggest star there? Well, in the hierarchy of people born on April 22nd, he's number 2.

I just can't fathom that he isn't everybody's hero. Let's consider "Let My Children Hear Music." How great is it? Once, I almost crashed my car because I was so distracted by it. From the most extreme joy to profoundly complex emotions, it's all in there. I also can't fathom that one guy can be in the argument for the greatest bassist, best composer, and best autobiography writer in jazz.

12:58 AM  

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