Mingus

This is what I call timely. We were just sitting in the bus going north to perform the music of Charles Mingus when the article Doc: Charles Mingus 1968 on Jazz Wax popped up in my newsreader. The article is about Thomas Reichmann’s documentary on Charles Mingus documentary which is now on You Tube.

During this period, Thomas Reichman filmed a documentary of Mingus expounding on a range of socio-political topics of the day and captured Mingus being evicted and arrested.

I have seen that one before, and it’s worth a watch.

'This Set is meant for Parker enthusiasts'

Marc Myers reviews ‘Bird Unheard’:

It’s probably fair to say that this set is meant for Parker enthusiasts— those who have spent years listening to the Verve master takes and have the solos by Parker and his sidemen committed to memory. The average listener would likely be left mystified by the material, since listening to Parker attempt songs over and over is akin to repeatedly asking diners to try failed dishes. […]
Students of Parker (myself included) will find much of this material fascinating. […] Even when struggling to develop what he was trying to achieve, Parker sounded tireless and in command.

I got the shipping confirmation for mine already two weeks ago, yet it is not bound to arrive before August. Wondering how it got shipped. In the meanwhile this great review on Jazz Wax will have to do.

'One of his most important musical dialogues was Blue Train'

Marc Myers in John Coltrane’s Blue Train:

The perfection and excitement of this album is hard to match. The flawless, sculptured lines catch the ear and take you on a journey. From the opening hunting call on Blue Train, to Coltrane’s speed-bag attack on Moment’s Notice, the propulsive blues of Locomotion and lyrical bop lines of Lazy Bird, Coltrane does more than craft solos. He is telling a multi-chapter story here that is largely autobiographical. The songs reflect his heritage, enthusiasm and desire to stand out, and they forecast his goal of making his instrument and jazz more expressive and cerebral.

A short historical view on what is one of my favourite recordings.

Bird Unheard

From Unheard Bird on Downbeat Magazine:

The two-disc set, available July 1, includes 58 previously unreleased studio takes recorded between 1949 and 1952. The set was co-produced by Phil Schaap, the eminent jazz historian who serves as a curator for Jazz At Lincoln Center.

I’m looking forward to this CD set of previously unreleased music from Charlie Parker. Despite my preferences to have everything as digital as possible, I guess I will order the actual CD in this case. The liner notes should be rather interesting.

Kenny Werner: “Effortless Mastery” in Talks at Google

In 1996, Kenny published a groundbreaking book on the emotional, spiritual, physical and psychological aspects of mastering and performing titled “Effortless Mastery.” The book has since been translated into several languages and is required reading in many universities as it is regarded as an essential read for artists of any kind.

The book is already a classic and this talk is truly inspiring and reminds me to revisit the book again. Thanks to Google for publishing this talk.

Bob Mintzer Masterclass Videos

A few years ago I had the chance to meet one of favourite saxophone players, Bob Mintzer, when he was in town. Meeting him and attending the class he held was very inspiring and I still look back at it from time to time.

Moments like these are rare events.

Bob Mintzer.jpg
Bob Mintzer doing a final speech when he played with our Big Band.

So, when I learned that he had released two masterclass videos I immediately purchased them. The two videos are about 35min each and full of great content. He talks about sound, phrasing, technique, vocabulary and much more, everything one needs to know.

I am a huge fan of his playing and work and seeing him presenting these concepts is both inspiring and motivating. You can check out the videos here.