Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mingus, Mingus, Mingus

The Culture Is Far Above the Horizon
While two babes of politics, Condo-leasing Rice and Slick Willie's Lucky Wife Now a Senator, go at each other over a really inane thing, whether Slick Willie allowed 9/11 to happen, which of course he did according oreo-cookie Rice and of course he didn't according to Hustlin' Hillary. Who gives a shit who's responsible for 9/11? How about, it seems to me, concern over a lyin' son of a bitch who's pretending to be president of us and who's draining our coffers and flinging it away toward his father's old degenerate friends like Unka Dick (this old son of bitch will never die no matter how many heart attacks some generous "God" nails him with), Rummy, Little Karl Rove, Paulie Wolfowitz, and all the gang at the Carlyle Group and that good ole Okie company, Halliburton...oh, and don't forget Bechtel, which old Pappy has a lot of interest in, while, in the meantime he pins us all down under a bunch of rules and regulations that seem to indicate WE the People are responsible for 9/11? That would be my concern and I'd slam both Condo-leasing Rice and Hustlin' Hillary on that one: Where do you sorry excuses for politicians stand on all that shit, to hell with Slick Willie and to hell even with Osama and Al Queda.

I say the US government F-ed up no matter who the president was. All presidents since Kennedy have been pretty much the same--bad economies propped up by world tensions and eventual wars--more and more death being the answer to horrible living conditions and privilege being the answer to the rich man's desires--and it is the rich who are responsible for 9/11, so if you're rich, then step up and take your responsibility proudly, like a good monkey patriot. We are ruled by humans who have only recently graduated from Simians to barely human beings--their objectives: more land to grow their bananas on; a craving every now and then for hot monkey meat, which they are ready to go to war and kill for; which ends with them taking human bones and beating on the Statue of Liberty with them.

Mingus, Byard, Richmond, Coles, Dolphy, Jordan
I have flipped off Condo-leasing and Hustlin' Hill to watch a video made 42 years ago in Oslo, Norway. It's Charles Mingus and his band blowin' the blues away against a solid sea of bleached white faces, though we know the Swedes dug jazz more than Amuricans, which is a real shame and one I'd like to debate somebody over. Mingus's music is OURS, true American music. Classical? Hell yeah; beyond classical, in an American transcendental state, a level above the reach of the ordinary. It's not meant for the ordinary. Brittany Spears is made for the ordinary; those poor sleazy little amateur American Idol jokes are the ordinary. Soap operas are the ordinary. The New York Philharmonic playing Beethoven for the 9,000th time is the ordinary.

Mingus is so far from the ordinary, even after 42 years, he hasn't been discovered yet really. Yeah, there are people like me out here who know his work. "Jaki Byard," Charles shouts, and then Jaki Byard, one of the most thrilling pianists I've ever heard no matter the genre, begins the introduction to another walk in the La Frontera (where Mingus was born to an army dad and a mother who was a prostitute but not to Mingus) ethereal that translates around all the cactii of the ordinary to come out clean and unscathed in a Pantheonic space of where the spheres abound with unique sounds and words and paintings and scultptor and even essays, some explaining the ordinary to the ordinary, 'cept to no avail since the ordinary are stuck in being ordinary.

And Eric Dolphy? What's to say about him? What went on in his handsome head?

Jaki's got 'em stompin' now; Jaki liked to stomp.

And one morning his daughter went in to wake Jaki up and found him with a bullet right square-dab through his head, dead as a doorknob. Where did the bullet come from that took Jaki away from us; no one to this day knows. There were no bullet holes in the window.

Mingus already had left us, riding out in a wheelchair under the bootheel of Lou Gehrig's disease.

Eric Dolphy has left us, too. His head blew up one fine day.

Little Johnny Coles, one of the true sweet trumpet players of jazz, basically unknown except to us who have the ears to understand jazz and we all know Little Johnny. What a sound! What an awesome cry he had. Yeah, Little Johnny's gone, too.

And Danny Richmond. Mingus's other self; always there. Mingus said he was playing a sax and Mingus said throw that damn sax away and play the damn drums. Sure, why not, and Danny did just that, became the ultimate Mingus drummer. Danny's long gone, too, now, though he did stay around and lead the Mingus band down on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for years.

Clifford Jordon.

Clifford Laconia Jordan (September 2, 1931, Chicago - March 27, 1993, Manhattan) was an inside/outside sax player who held his own with Eric Dolphy in the 1964 Charles Mingus Sextet.

So we see, Clifford's departed, too.

And yet they are so alive as I watch them performing on this old video. The music just washes around me with a soft summer breeze-like effect on me--I hear the world singing around me because human beings like Mingus only come around once or they never come around because they're never discovered; but Mingus was discovered and he did live and he's still alive as far as I'm concerned and I raise a shotgun into the air and shoot out the ceiling in his honor.

Mingus is so much more relevant to my living than anything Condo-leasing Rice and Hustlin' Slick Hillary have to "argue" about; yet, Condo and Hillary could hold more of my destiny in their hands than Mingus ever did.

for The Daily Growler

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