Thursday, September 13, 2007

Charles Mingus... Charles Gayle... Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton...

Internet service has finally been restored... But other complications – my rackety health mainly... So a quick post – but hoping to get back to some regularity soon. I keep saying this – hi ho. The toll of blogging for some time now. But the taste for it is still there... Honest...

There is always a sprawling, unruly joy to Mingus's music.... This is 'No Private Income Blues' from the album 'Mingus in Wonderland,' recorded live in 1959. Speeding in with virtuoso bass, a romping blues that looks backwards and forwards - and sideways. Booker Ervin blasts out some muscular choruses, Wyands takes a sparkle of a solo, Handy shows his class. A life- affirming and glorious splatter across the old 12 bar form. Richmond is all over it, the boss – well, what can you say? A great two sax trade of fours collapsing to twos and collective/overlaps at the end as the rhythm section sporadically stop time – this must have a been a wonderful night to have been in attendance... Blowing the blues indeed...

While we are in the mood for wild – Charles Gayle is about to arrive/has already arrived in the U.K. for a short tour. I've booked a hotel and tickets to see him in Liverpool next monday night, courtesy of the Frakture crew. He's got William Parker and the local boy Mark Sanders in tow. Much anticipation...

A taster, then, for next week: here's Charles with William Parker and Rashied Ali from his rather superb album 'Touchin' on Trane.' This is 'Part A,' showing the influence but contributing his own imagination and technique to taking the lineage further. A homage born out of affection and acceptance of what went before - yet Gayle doesn't copy or retread - he sounds totally different to Coltrane, for starters. The tenor playing is superb but the interplay between the trio overall is stunning. Freewheeling stuff that repays close attention.

Some late Ferdinand Morton, from a 1939 session. Some details about which you can find here... (scroll down). This is the classic New Orleans tune, 'High Society,' with Albert Nicholas and Sidney Bechet on board to add extra class, as it were, for the clarinet extravaganza (with the soprano sax added here). One of the first jazz records I ever bought had a version of this by Kid Ory's band that I almost wore out as a kid. This is the late flowering of the New Orleans style, with a dash of swing era – the bass seems very modern and supple alternating between two and four beat. The ride out is great, a warm weaving of lines... Thinking back to the Mingus track, you can really see Morton as precursor of the bassist/composer – something I intend to elucidate further on in a later post.

And so to bed – exhaustion takes it toll. But the move to the new house is almost complete...

In the Videodrome...

A Gayle blows through Brugges (you think I can resist such a terrible pun?)

Guy Van Duser does Jelly Roll M - 'Wolverine Blues.'

Wilbur De Paris plays 'The Pearls' (1960) A nice mute trumpet solo from Sidney - who played on the 1939 session above...

Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus (b) John Handy (as) Booker Ervin (ts) Richard Wyands (p) Dannie Richmond (d)
No private income blues


Charles Gayle (ts) William Parker (b) Rashied Ali (d)
Part A


Jelly Roll Morton
Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (p) Sidney De Paris (t) Claude Jones (tr) Albert Nicholas (cl) Sidney Bechet (ss) Happy Cauldwell (ts) Lawrence Lucie (g) Wellman Braud (b) Zutty Singleton (d)
High Society


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