Charles Mingus was amazing in my eyes. How ahead he was of everyone and how he stuck to his guns all his career, never giving in. Producing the Jazz he wanted and where the musicians would have total “liberty” to improvise on-the-fly. Here, in his own words, Mingus explains in great detail:
WHAT IS A JAZZ COMPOSER?
Each jazz musician when he takes a horn in his hand- trumpet, bass, saxophone, drums-whatever instrument he plays-each soloist, that is, when he begins to ad lib on a given composition with a title and improvise a new creative melody, this man is taking the place of a composer. He is saying, “listen, I am going to give you a new complete idea with a new set of chord changes. I am going to give you a new melodic conception on a tune you are familiar with. I am a composer.” That’s what he is saying.
I have noticed that there are many kinds of composers in this so-called jazz. For instance, there are musicians who simply take rhythmic patterns and very spare notes-very limited invention melodically-and play in a soulful swinging way. Some people in the audience, when asked what they think about jazz, say, “I just go by the feeling, I go by the feeling the guy gives me.” Now, whether there is feeling or not depends upon what your environment or your association is or whatever you may have in common with the player. If you feel empathy for his personal outlook, you naturally feel him musically more than some other environ-mental and musical opposite who is, in a way. beyond you.
I, myself, came to enjoy the players who didn’t only just swing but who invented new rhythmic patterns, along with new melodic concepts. And those people are: Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Parker, who is the greatest genius of all to me because he changed the whole era around. But there is no need to compare composers. If you like Beethoven, Bach or Brahms, that’s okay. They were all pencil composers. I always wanted to be a spontaneous composer. I thought I was, although no one’s mentioned that. I mean critics or musicians. Now, what I’m getting at is that I know I’m a composer. I marvel at composition, at people who are able to take diatonic scales, chromatics, 12-tone scales, or even quarter-tone scales. I admire anyone who can come up with something original. But not originality alone, because there can be originality in stupidity, with no musical description of….Continue Here
The Jazz Con Class listeners should take note and probably knew already, this is the reason why I created this Internet Jazz Station. Mingus couldn’t have been any more accurate! These two albums will be featured together in order, Jazzical Moods Volume One (Tracks: What Is This Thing Called Love, Stormy Weather, Minor Intrusion, Abstractions) and then Jazzical Moods Volume Two (Tracks: Thrice Upon a Theme, Four Hands, Spur Of The Moment/Echonitus). Check the schedule link for play times, ENJOY!
About the Albums:
Jazzical Moods album by Charles Mingus was released Jan 25, 1995 on the Original Jazz Classics label. Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1995, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). Jazzical Moods songs Originally recorded for Period Records in 1954, this fairly obscure early Charles Mingus session is a collaboration with composer John LaPorta, who is heard on clarinet and alto saxophone. Jazzical Moods album It’s a fascinating effort that shows Mingus’ awareness of both modern European classical composition and cool jazz. The set includes a mix of Mingus and LaPorta originals, plus freshly arranged standards like……Read More