Friday, March 02, 2007

I have been listening to a very rough sounding but fascinating ROIO of the Charles Mingus band recorded at Slugs in New York City on March 31, 1970. The band is made up of Mingus on bass, Bill Hardman on trumpet, Charles McPherson on alto saxophone and flute, Jimmy Vass on alto saxophone, and Dannie Richmond on drums. They mix up Mingus compositions like "So Long Eric" and "Peggy's Blue Skylight" with jazz standards such as "I Can't Get Started" and "Take the A Train". The band is very tight and sounds great, cutting through the crappy bootleg sound like a lance, especially on the charging version of "Better Git It In Your Soul" which has the whole group building up an awesome head of steam. The audience is raucous and talkative, but Mingus must have been in good spirits, or else comments from the bandstand have been edited from the recording. The music here is probably too rough to ever be released commercially, but if you come across it on a bittorrent site like I did, don't hesitate to download, because the music is wonderful.

I've also been checking out some new rock 'n' roll CD's like the new Apples in Stereo disc New Magnetic Wonder which mashes up Beatle-esque pop to psychedelica to good effect. The garage rock meets R&B of The Noisettes debit CD What's the Time Mr. Wolf caught ear as well, blending sassy vocals with raw indie rock to create something with a lot of potential. Finally, I dug into my stash of Fat Possum CD's to pull out Asie Payton's disc Worried. If Fat Possum couldn't find a musician like Payton, they would have had to invent him - a full time farmer and part time musician, Payton often performed at Junior Kimbrough's famous juke joint, and he played the stripped down blues on this, his only CD. Asie keeps it real with snarling guitar and declamatory vocals playing the real Mississippi blues without a lot of flash, but with a whole lot of heart.

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