This record is, for some, probably the most controversial of Mingus’ prime, for its infamous title track, a piece which contains spoken narration by Jean Shepherd. And it’s the one piece I’m not entirely sure what to do with so I’ll try to leave it for last.
If you asked me to name my favourite jazz musician, the first person I would probably name, before equivocating, would be Charles Mingus. And yet I’ve heard so little of his discography, really, with my listening focused pretty much entirely on what people would call his prime. Until I listened to this record, I’m not …
This is one of those weird records from the 1950s where they hadn’t quite figured out how to sell music yet – it’s a compilation of previously released singles (released over the previous four years) now looked upon as a regular LP because these singles hadn’t been released on his earlier LPs. So, if you’re …
If you’re familiar with Cash as a country singer, his debut will likely come as a bit of a shock, though the “Million Dollar Quartet” makes a little bit more sense.
Without doing the appropriate research I am going to assume this was the first “rock and roll” Christmas album. There had been Christmas albums ever since the invention of the format but, until Elvis, they were more the purview of Bing Crosby than rock and roll performers.
This disc compiles some of King’s A-sides for both the RPM and Kent labels throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s.
What the hell do we do with Epitaph?
From the very opening bars it’s clear that this is no ordinary opera. And though that’s true of the most path-breaking and challenging operas of the early 20th century – I am thinking chiefly of Berg’s work – this one is perhaps more shocking given the (seemingly) more traditional stance of the composer.
This is one of those “classic” bantery Hollywood romantic comedies with a Cary Grant-type – this time played by Cary Grant, here paired with one of his regular sparring partners, Deborah Kerr. It’s one of those movies where two unbelievably rich and self-assured people throw witticisms at each other – with a little tiny bit …
I recently listened to this band’s performance at Newport and was underwhelmed. It just goes to show you the power of mood. I guess just wasn’t in the mood and I imagined the Newport show as some kind of semi-modernist response to Ellington’s Newport show of the year before. I think I was over-thinking.